Lucky duck­lings res­cued

North Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - AMY BAKER

It was just by chance that a few weeks ago 13-year-old Darby Pat­ter­son’s mum told her a story about res­cu­ing ducks from a drain.

So last Tuesday, when Darby hap­pened to see a group of stu­dents look­ing at a mother duck and two duck­lings which had been killed on Or­well Rd, she didn’t just keep walk­ing when she heard a ‘‘lit­tle noise’’.

In­stead, she crossed the road to check in­side the drain.

Sure enough, there were four duck­lings in one of the stormwater pipes.

‘‘The duck­lings were in the cylin­der go­ing up the hill. I could see the beaks - I saw one. There were heaps of cars com­ing, so we had to quickly run back onto the pave­ment,’’ the Al­bany Ju­nior High School stu­dent said.

With the help of a friend, she lifted off the grate and set about try­ing to res­cue them, us­ing left­over bread from her lunch. An­other stu­dent ran home to fetch a net.

Green­hithe res­i­dent Deb­bie Prevett hap­pened to be driv­ing by, when she saw a group of stu­dents on the side of the road. Con­cerned, she stopped to check if ev­ery­thing was al­right.

‘‘When peo­ple kill an an­i­mal like that, they don’t stop to deal with it. They just think, ‘Oh well, it’s dead,’ and carry on, be­cause they’re in a hurry,’’ she said.

‘‘And it was the dar­ling chil­dren that found them all down the drain - they were so cool.’’

An­other duck, thought to have been part of the same fam­ily, had also been killed prior.

She stayed with the stu­dents un­til the duck­lings were out and took them to Sylvia Dur­rant’s Bird Res­cue in Rothe­say Bay.

Darby’s good friend Maya Das, who was on the way home from the bus with her dad, also stopped off and helped with the res­cue, tak­ing charge of hold­ing all the duck­lings once they had been res­cued from the drain.

A mother out walk­ing with her baby went home to fetch a plas­tic box to trans­port them in.

Although the res­cue took around an hour, Darby said she didn’t con­sider leav­ing the duck­lings.

‘‘I was de­ter­mined to get all the duck­lings out, be­cause I would never leave an an­i­mal in that state,’’ she said.

‘‘Es­pe­cially when they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them,’’ Maya added.

Prevett said dogs, cats and ducks had been killed at that par­tic­u­lar spot on Or­well Rd be­fore, with the dip in the road mak­ing them hard to see an­i­mals cross­ing. Speed­ing had also ‘‘al­ways been an is­sue’’ but had wors­ened with in­creased con­struc­tion and traf­fic flow in the area, she said.

‘‘We’re for­ever telling peo­ple to slow down be­cause it’s ter­ri­fy­ing how fast they get go­ing es­pe­cially that hump [at the bot­tom of Or­well Rd].’’

DEB­BIE PREVETT

Res­cued duck­lings.

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