Duck rescue! Boston Fed law enforcement, building management, team up after ducklings slip down drain Duck rescue! Boston Fed law enforcement, building management, team up after ducklings slip down drain

Bright spot in gloomy morning as rescuers reunite 7 ducklings with mother Bright spot in gloomy morning as rescuers reunite 7 ducklings with mother

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June 11, 2019

A group of Boston Fed law enforcement officers and building management team members brightened up an otherwise dreary spring morning when they rescued seven ducklings who’d fallen into a storm drain behind the Bank building.

Senior Law Enforcement Officer Pete Freeman was manning a vehicle inspection station on the Congress Street side of the building around 10 a.m. Tuesday when he noticed a mother duck and about four ducklings looking down into a drain, apparently after several ducklings had slipped in, according to Boston Fed Chief of Police Operations Sam Shuman. As Freeman approached, the mother and her ducklings tried to move away, and three more fell in.

Freeman called for backup, and four more officers and several members of the Bank’s Real Estate Services Group spent hours plucking the family of ducklings from the drain, one by one.

The drains are roughly six to eight feet deep, but the water level raised the ducklings up to about four feet below the road, Shuman said. From there, the team used rakes and other tools to lift the ducklings to safety.

As if that wasn’t harrowing enough for the ducklings, the rescuers also scooped them from an adjoining drainpipe after some the baby ducks floated underground to it. Shuman said if the water had been about two feet higher, the ducklings might have been lifted into yet another drain that leads to the city sewage system.

The seventh and final duckling was hardest to reach. “There was one they could hear but just couldn’t get to,” Shuman said. “They kept at it. Finally, they got the last one out.”

With each rescue, they carried the animals over to the mother, who was too scared to stay close to drain, but had lingered nearby.

“I’m proud of all these guys,” Shuman said. “They showed a lot of compassion. I think they looked at the mother, and they could see her heartbreak.” 

“It was a gloomy morning,” Shuman added, “but this was a bright spot.”

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