It’s not every day you see an Animal Control officer elbow deep in a storm drain, but that was the scene at St. Andrew’s Regional High School in Saanich, BC, recently as staff, students and an officer worked to rescue eight ducklings.
When teacher Danny Brock got to the Greater Victoria-area campus, he spotted a mother duck with her 11 fuzzy babies trailing after her.
But by the time principal Glen Palahicky arrived 30 minutes later, only three ducklings and the mother hovered near a large storm drain in the front parking lot. The educators quickly realized that the other eight ducklings had fallen through the large slats in the metal drain cover and called the Saanich Police Department.
Animal Control officer Derek Rees rushed to the campus. While they waited, Brock, Palahicky and some students captured the mother and three remaining babies so they wouldn’t be separated from the ones awaiting rescue.
The rescue party discovered the eight fallen ducklings had made their way through an underground pipe and ended up in a connected storm drain on the west end of the property. Rees removed the cover on the second drain and began scooping the ducklings from the mucky water with a large net as mom and siblings chirped and quacked loudly.
Storm drains are the worst because the slats are large enough for ducklings to fall in, Rees said. It’s a common occurrence and ducks follow each other so when one goes in, the rest tumble in, too.
He said Saanich Animal Control has already had about five calls for ducklings in storm drains this season.
Once the whole family was in a portable kennel, the feathered family were released at the nearby Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, pleased to waddle off into the marsh safely.
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