PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Fort Duquesne Boulevard, KDKA saw a mother in distress – a mother duck, more specifically a female mallard – trapped on the side of the road with a dozen ducklings in tow.
In search of safety, she led them down the ramp of the bypass and looked in vain for an opening. She almost got there by the time she made the mistake of walking over that sewer grate and all but three ducklings fell through the slits.
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It was so disturbing that Andy Sheehan forgot to record a video of her fall and called 911 and Pittsburgh Animal Control, who arrived on site to begin her rescue and rescue the ducklings trapped underneath.
But the police and animal control officers tried every device they could think of and just couldn’t break the bars. So they called the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, which had just the thing: a sledgehammer to loosen the 300 pounds of metal and a crowbar to lift it.
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Then Animal Control Officer Steve Costa went down to get the eight scared babies and brought them together to everyone’s relief and brought them back to the surface to save their young life.
“They could have washed themselves with the rain, who knows where. Luckily you saw and called when you did that, “said Jeff Ley of Animal Control.
The inspectors then took her down to the river and, with some encouragement, were able to lure everyone into the Allegheny to look for her mother, who had taken three other ducklings downstream and was no longer in sight.
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“We had contacted the gaming committee and asked them if it was okay if we let them into the water and they said it was okay. The mother will come back and get her ducklings so that it’ll be a good love story in the end, ”he said.