Friday, March 27, 2009

Police officers pluck ducklings to safety from drain

A fleet of ducklings have been saved from certain starvation by a Plymouth policeman. While driving along Embankment Road in Plymouth, Pc Dave Bullock and Pc Carley Moloney spotted a mother duck crossing the road with her ducklings.

Pc Bullock, from Plympton, said: "It was about 1.30am on Wednesday morning and we were out on routine duty when we saw the mother duck and ducklings heading for the long grass." But when they saw one of ducklings drop down a roadside drain, the officers stopped to investigate.

Pc Bullock said: "As we approached the drain we could hear the ducklings calling for their mother, the rest of them had followed the first one in." After lifting the drain cover, he carefully picked out each bird and placed them on the nearby pavement.

He said: "The water was smelly and I had to be careful not to have too much human contact with the birds in case the mother rejected them. Some of the birds were stuck further up the sump of the drain and I had to reach far back to pull them to safety."

After being placed on dry land the smallest of the ducklings waddled under the police car and warmed up using the heat from the car's exhaust pipe. The seven or eight ducklings, who eventually huddled together and watched the rescue of their brothers and sisters, were reunited with their mother and walked off into the undergrowth.

The incident was also captured on video with the use of a head mounted camera that Pc Bullock was wearing throughout the rescue. Pc Bullock, who works night shifts, said this was one of his more unusual incidents: "We don't get many ducks stopping us in our tracks, but we see plenty of foxes - it's nice to deal with the good guys for once."

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