Video: Duckling rescue caught on officer’s body camera

(Photo Courtesy: WBAY)

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – An Appleton Police Department Community Service Officer came to the rescue after several ducklings fell through a sewer grate and were separated from their mama.

This isn’t the first time Appleton Police Department Community Service Officer Payne Hughes has found himself reaching into a sewer to save some ducklings. His department-issued body camera caught the whole operation on Mistwood Lane Wednesday morning.

“I think we’re at 120-something ducklings that we’ve rescued from the sewers,” says CSO Hughes. “We’ve definitely had some practice.”

The time, Hughes pulled out eight ducklings after Yvonne Gurholt and the painters working in her home noticed mama duck pacing back and forth in front of the house on the north side of Appleton.

According to Yvonne Gurholt, “The mom was just circling around, and after a while she just rested right on the grass and was sad, I’m sure.”

One by one, CSO Hughes pulled the ducklings from the sewer, putting them in a bucket until the last one was saved.

“I just hoped they’d be alright because if it started raining like it is now, they’d be flushed away somewhere I think,” says Clint Cooper, one of the painters who discovered the ducks with Gurholt.

With the ducklings out of the sewer, it was time to reunite them with the mother, who was circling the neighborhood. Using the ducklings, still in the bucket, CSO Hughes coaxed the mama duck away from the street and the sewer grates before releasing her babies.

Huges says, “Once you get to reunite them with Mama Duck and see Mama Duck and all the ducklings going together and they start quacking, it’s really cute. It’s adorable.”

While the Mistwood Lane rescue isn’t his first duck rescue, he’s sure it won’t be his last either. It doesn’t matter though because each one is special. He says, “When you get in there and you get to get them all out, it’s very rewarding.”

Because who doesn’t love a happy family ending.

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