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The mother duck and her two offspring were in serious trouble. They were in the gutter of the roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and Boat Harbour Drive, Hervey Bay.

As we rounded the corner on our way home from the beach with two very exhausted dogs, we were shocked to see the situation.  We thought she was trying to cross the road and was likely to get hit by a car. So we quickly exited Main Street and parked the car. My brother and I ran to the scene. A young couple arrived around the same time and told us there were ducklings down the drain. By then the mother had taken refuge in the bushes with the last two ducklings.  We could hear the frantic peeping of the ducklings but couldn’t see them down the deep drain.

The wildlife rescue was called and said they would be out as soon as they could. While we waited, the four of us made sure the mother duck and her ducklings didn’t try to cross the street again.

It wasn’t too long before the fantastic volunteers from the wildlife rescue organisation turned up and took charge. The grate was lifted from the drain and a male volunteer jumped down with a net.  The drain was dark and deeper than he was tall. We worried that we might have to find a ladder to get him back out.

But within a few minutes he was passing up ducklings – one, then two, until we had six tiny balls of feathers safely contained in a cage.  They were no more than a few days old. Turned out, getting the ducklings out of the drain was the easy part – catching mum was a much bigger challenge.  It was all hands on deck as the mother and ducklings went running in all directions. The two ducklings were caught but the mother flew across the road. Using the basket of her peeping babies, we coaxed her down the bike path towards the fields beside Main Street. She was exhausted and had to stop to rest several times, but the sound of her ducklings spurred her on.  When we reached the field the mother went into the big drainage area hoping to find water but had to continue on.

She was frightened and at one point flew off out of sight. Eventually she flew back just as the volunteers were about to give up as it was getting dark.  It was decided that it was best for both the ducklings and the mother to be put in the field where there was a bit of water and protection.

A joyous reunion of mum and ducklings followed, which was amazing and well worth the hours it had taken to conduct the rescue. Knowing that these ducklings were back with their mother made it all worth it.

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