A team of Auckland volunteer firefighters who earned acclaim around the world for their heart-tugging rescue of eight ducklings trapped in a Green Bay drain have received another accolade, and a good-natured spoof video from fellow firefighters.
Footage of Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighters extracting the ducklings from the drain has appeared in media around the world, including the BBC.
The 20-minute rescue operation involved a firefighter, held by the legs, reaching into the drain to scoop out the ducklings, who were then put inside an upturned road cone before being reunited with their anxious mother at a nearby park.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia associate director Ashley Fruno today announced the brigade would receive a Hero to Animals Award for their efforts.
"The compassion and heroism shown by members of the Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade are truly an inspiration. Residents of Auckland are very fortunate to have emergency service personnel who are ready to protect and serve both its human and animal residents."
Meanwhile, Huia Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighters this afternoon poked fun at their neighbouring firefighters by posting a take-off video of the ducklings' rescue.
The spoof video, uploaded to YouTube, shows Huia firefighters in a mock rescue of lamb trapped under a building.
Huia firefighters use a road cone - as the Titirangi firefighters did to scoop the ducklings to safety - in the rescue of the stuffed toy lamb.
The ribbing was taken in good spirits by the Titirangi volunteers, who posted Huia's video on their own Facebook page.
"Well done Huia Volunteer Fire Brigade. And no dancing involved!" they wrote.