South Dakota

Fire department rescues ducklings from a storm drain in South Dakota

The Rapid City Fire Department posted photos of the rescue on Thursday on Facebook

A Rapid City Fire Department member rescues three ducklings from a storm drain on July 13, 2023, in Rapid City, S.D.
Rapid City Fire Department via AP

A South Dakota fire department rescued three ducklings that were stuck in a storm drain near a highway ramp.

The Rapid City Fire Department posted photos of the rescue on Thursday on Facebook and wrote: “The crew was able to climb in the drain and rescue the ducklings successfully! There seemed to be no fowl play.”

One photo captures two fuzzy ducklings wading inside the storm drain when the crew arrived. Other photos show firefighters descending a silver ladder into the drain and setting up a hose. Finally, a crew member climbs back up the ladder with a duckling in hand.

“A person who lives in that area noticed that a mama duck kept walking around in the street in the same spot. That person investigated, found ducklings in the storm drain,” and called the fire department for help, Battalion Chief Calen Maningas said.

Seven people from the fire department went to rescue the baby birds, he said.

Captain Tyler Powell was one of them. He said the drain was filled with water, runoff and debris.

“There were different culverts that came into that drain. And every time we went down to try and grab the ducklings, they would swim into one of the other culverts and hide from us,” Powell said.

The team figured out where the culverts ended, Powell said, so they set up a hose and strategically sprayed water to flush the ducks out to the other side — and into the hands of the waiting firefighters who handed the birds up to each other and placed them in a cardboard box above ground.

Powell said the ducklings were fine throughout the rescue.

The firefighters left the ducklings with the person who originally called about them. That person hoped the mother duck would return so he could give the ducklings back to her, Maningas said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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