Titirangi firefighters save ducklings trapped in drain

Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighters earned acclaim earlier this year for their rescue of eight ducklings trapped in a Green Bay drain. Photo / Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade
Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighters earned acclaim earlier this year for their rescue of eight ducklings trapped in a Green Bay drain. Photo / Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade

Weeks after earning acclaim around the world for a heart-tugging rescue of eight ducklings trapped in a drain, Titirangi firefighters have pulled off another duckling rescue today.

The Titirangi Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to Willowbrook Place in Titirangi this afternoon where an agitated mother duck had lost at least three of her ducklings down a stormwater drain.

Firefighter Raymond Van Orsoy de Flines said they scoped the area and heard the ducklings in one of the pipes.

The firefighters flushed some water down the drain. One of the ducklings was dead but two came out of the drain alive.

"They were very cold so we warmed them up in our hands a bit. We reconciled them back with the mother duck and they came back together happily. It was good to salvage a couple of little ducklings," the firefighter said.

He said there were a lot of ducks in the area and the small ducklings must have fallen through a grate into the drain.

Nick Boeinghoff, a Willowbank Place resident, said he was out at the time of the rescue, but had rescued several ducklings who had fallen through the grate in the past.

He said there was a population of ducks in the area and mother ducks kicked up merry hell when their offspring fell down the drain.

Footage of Titirangi firefighters extracting the ducklings from May's rescue in Green Bay 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 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."

- NZ Herald

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