Seven ducklings rescued from storm sewer

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Seven ducklings that fell into a storm sewer were rescued last week by Elk River city officials and reunited with the mother duck.

An Elk River police reserve officer held one of the ducklings.

An Elk River police reserve officer held one of the ducklings. Photo by Pam Toven

Mary Dare had discovered the trapped ducklings July 10 after seeing an adult duck near a storm sewer grate by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 326 4th St. North.

“I could see the mother (duck) was frantic,” Dare said.

People worked to rescue ducklings from a storm sewer in Elk River last week. Photo by Pam Toven.

People worked to rescue ducklings from a storm sewer in Elk River last week. Photo by Pam Toven.

Dare notified the city, and the Elk River Police Department, street department and wastewater treatment department responded.

Trying to net the ducklings proved to be a tricky business.

“The storm sewer goes every which way so they were dodging us and running through and turning around,” said Matt Stevens, chief operator of the wastewater treatment facility and one of the people in on the call. They were able to get six of the ducklings out initially. The last one was rescued after a street department employee dropped into the storm sewer and sprayed water toward the duckling to get it to go toward a net, Stevens said.

All seven were then reunited with the mother duck who was nearby.

Stevens said it’s the first such call he’s responded to in Elk River.

Pam Toven, administrator of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, saw the rescue unfold and took photos of it.

She’s pleased city workers rescued the ducklings.

City workers rescued ducklings from an Elk River storm sewer near Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Photo by Pam Toven

City workers rescued ducklings from an Elk River storm sewer near Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Photo by Pam Toven

“They had compassion and they stayed there and they worked diligently until they all were out. That’s amazing. They just didn’t give up,” Toven said. “Kudos to all those people out there that were doing that.”

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