Ducks taking to water is natural. Ducks to stormwater drains - not so much.
The area around Moehau and Morris Sts in Te Puke is well known as the home of several ducks that, from time to time, are also blessed with ducklings.
Last week one of the present crop of babies went swim-about in the stormwater drain.
Called to action by local cop Bruce Gordon, it was a case to Te Puke Volunteer Fire Brigade to the rescue.
Fire chief Glenn Williams was the senior officer on the call.
''They wander over the road and the neighbouring sections,'' he said. ''I see them often when we are walking our dog.
''Apparently one of the ducklings got into the street cesspit and then from there slipped through into the manhole that's in the middle of the footpath.''
He said when the firefighters arrived they could hear the duckling.
''We looked around to see where it might go to. One of our guys got into the manhole, it wasn't very deep, and looked down the drain and could see it about 20m or so down the drain.
''At one stage it came back up the pipe but didn't come high enough for him to grab a hold of it.''
The pipe was linked to another manhole on the opposite side of the road.
''We found the stormwater drain went to that manhole and so we gave [the duckling] some encouragement to come out there.''
The duckling was caught in a fishing net a nearby resident had provided.
''The mother was probably pretty happy to see it back,'' says Glenn.
The fire chief says he remembers attending several unusual animal rescues, including a small dog stuck in a culvert, and cats up trees.