Janesville73°

Local women save 11 ducklings trapped in sewer

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Gazette staff
April 28, 2012
— Ducklings who fell into a storm sewer owe their lives to some local women.

Deanna Daehler saw a duckling drop through the sewer grate on the frontage road at dusk Thursday near the Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, just off Milton Avenue.


Melanie Wasemiller stopped to assist, and the two pulled off the grate to find 11 ducklings below. They spent more than two hours catching the ducks.


The ducklings retreated down a pipe, so someone had to go to the next sewer opening and make noise to scare them out, Wasemiller said. Meanwhile, the mother duck paced frantically nearby.


The women tried to catch the mother, but she flew into a retention pond near the Buffalo Wild Wings.


A police officer joined the rescue, partially blocking the road to keep the rescuers safe, Wasemiller said.


They took the ducks to wildlife rehabilitator Jess Massaro of Beloit, who works at Fellow Mortals, a nonprofit wildlife hospital near Lake Geneva.


At last report, all 11 ducklings were doing well.


Mandy Cyr, wildlife rehabilitation liaison for the DNR, said ducks often get into trouble in urban areas when ducklings hatch in the spring. She said the ducks might have perished in the cold, wet sewer overnight.


The first concern in a wildlife rescue should be for safety of the humans, Cyr said. Next most important is reuniting the offspring with the mother.


If that canít be done, people should contact a wildlife rehabilitator. If you donít know one, the DNR can provide a contact. Call 1-888-936-7463 and press 5 when you hear the message.



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