Ciara Hogan and her husband James Breen were walking to North Bend Bar and Grill this morning for brunch at about 945 AM. Their path brought them by the plot of drainage land at Bendigo and S Forks Ave SW.
They heard a duck quacking close by the fence as they walked by the fence, a bit more than usual and not moving off. Ciara assumed she had a nest there, and the pair kept going.
On their way home, they heard her again and thought it was odd that she was still quacking, so Ciara stopped to listen. That’s when she also heard the tweets and realized something was up. Peering through the chain-link fence, Hogan saw the grated well and decided to hop the fence to confirm her suspicions. Her husband gave her a boost and she found 8 ducklings in the well.
The grate was chained and padlocked so the pair couldn’t rescue the ducklings. They tried to figure out who to call, especially on a Saturday. After posting to a couple of local Facebook groups and an unsuccessful call to City Hall, they looked up the non-emergency number for the police department.
Hogan said the dispatcher was extremely sweet, immediately got her location, and sent people out. Soon after the call police and fire departments arrived to find an incredibly stressed momma duck quacking and pacing the area.
The fire department got a long ladder over the fence and cut the grate chain on the well. One of the firefighters got in the waist-deep water and managed to snag one duckling quickly, but the others moved into a side tunnel that hadn’t been apparent from above.
The duck rescuers then radioed for someone to run to Ace Hardware and buy a net. In the meantime, another two ducklings were brave enough to venture out of the tunnel, were quickly grabbed and extricated. The ducks were then moved to a small body of water close by in hopes the momma duck would reappear.
The rest of the ducklings were not so brave, and it took a while to get two more out using the now arrived net. While this was happening, a call came in about a large fire in a residential area that other trucks were called to, but these firefighters said they could stay, as they had geared up another truck for the day.
The remaining amuck ducks were not cooperating and moved further into the tunnel. Poised motionless with the net, the firefighter waited for an opportunity, when suddenly, everyone heard close-by tweets. Four more ducklings were silently sitting in some flattened reeds around the well that hadn’t been noticed! These lucky ducks were moved to be with their formerly stuck duck siblings to wait for momma duck.
It was decided the remaining ducklings were too scared to come out, so the remaining ducklings were left in the water to be retrieved later today. Nick Almquist of the Snoqualmie Police said all the ducks were out of the well as of 237 PM.
Thank you to the participants, Officer Rick Cary of the Snoqualmie Police Department, Eastside Fire & Rescue, and especially Ciara Hogan and James Breen, for going the extra mile for 8 tiny bad luck ducks.