It was all hands on deck to rescue seven ducklings trapped in a Richmond storm drain, as their mother waited anxiously nearby.
The BC SPCA got the call from a resident around 2 p.m. on Thursday reporting that a flock of ducklings had fallen into a storm drain near Blundell and No. 2 roads.
But the rescue proved a bit difficult.
“There were two drains – one of them was kind of on the property, on the lawn of the home, and the other one was a curbside drain. The officer could hear that they were between the two drains, but wasn’t able to reach them,” said Corrie Bownick, manager of municipal services for the BC SPCA.
Because a ladder wouldn’t fit into the drain, an officer donned a gown and gloves to go “in head first to see if she could get the ducklings out,” Bownick said.
However, the officer still couldn’t reach them.
That’s when City of Richmond sewer and drainage staff stepped in.
“They tried to gently flush the line and move the little ducklings along, to see if they could reach them,” said Bownick.
But that plan also didn’t work – and the ducklings remained in the storm drain until about 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning, when city staff were able to get inside the drain and rescue them.
“It normally doesn’t take quite as long to get the animals out, but I’m really glad we were able to persevere and get them out,” said Bownick.
BC SPCA officers eventually reunited the ducklings with their mother who was waiting nearby with one other duckling, which hadn’t fallen into the drain.
“We could tell she was quite anxious about her little babies that were in the drain…(but) they were all reunited and they were all really happy.”
According to the SPCA, ducklings and other wildlife shouldn't be handled by the public. However, an exception is made when intervention is needed such as when ducklings become stuck in storm drains.