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North Vancouver firefighters rescue ducklings trapped on the highway (VIDEO)

The goslings fled into a storm drain after a motorist hit mother duck.
Firefighters helped rescue eight ducklings that were stranded on Highway 1 in North Vancouver Wednesday night. photo Andrew Payne

A brood of little birdies can count themselves lucky ducks after being rescued in a daring highway excursion last night.

Emergency first responders were dispatched to a public assistant call after 8 p.m. with reports that a number of ducklings were trapped on Highway 1 and had slipped into a storm drain near Westview Shopping Centre west of the overpass.

“A passerby actually saw the parent of these ducklings get hit on the highway and she saw the ducklings go down into a storm drain in the middle of the highway,” said Andrew Payne, assistant fire chief with North Vancouver City Fire Department. “She actually stopped and tried to get them out of the storm drain herself on the highway.”

The city fire department arrived shortly thereafter, along with police who shut down a westbound lane of traffic on the highway to make it safe for firefighters to get to the storm drain.

“A tow truck driver actually assisted to get the manhole cover off. It was a large manhole cover,” said Payne.

While firefighters were able to reach in and rescue a number of ducklings with ease, some of them started swimming down the drain pipe in their panic, according to Payne. But it was the brothers and sisters of the young ducks that eventually called their siblings back to safety.

“What [the firefighters] ended up doing was they put the ducklings they’d got out into a bucket and put it close to the hole and the ducklings would actually start talking to each other. It sounds kind of funny, but they actually had the ducklings that they had call the others to the hole and we were able to pull them all out,” he said.

City of North Vancouver firefighter Jeremy Brodtrick holds one of the rescued goslings - photo Andrew Payne

All eight ducklings were eventually rescued and were deemed to be in good health, he said.

Because the brood was now orphaned, first responders contacted the animal hospital on Capilano Road who then put them in touch with the SPCA, who came and collected the ducklings later that evening.

“Our No. 1 priority is to keep our personnel safe and if we can keep our personnel safe and do something good like this for the community than it’s a win-win,” said Payne.

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