Prague police perform daring duckling rescue through the holiday weekend

Seven baby ducks fell into a sewer grating at the Palmovka bus depot; luckily a bus driver noticed the distressed mother and called for help.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 09.05.2023 14:00:00 (updated on 09.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

City police rescued a family of ducks from a sewer over the weekend. Seven ducklings fell into a grating at the bus depot in Palmovka in Prague 8, and the concerned mother waited helplessly by the grating.

“Have you ever dropped your keys in a drain? Terrible feeling right? Now imagine that all seven of your children fell in there. Fortunately for the mother duck, the whole incident was noticed by the bus driver leaving Palmovka, who did not hesitate to contact the police,” the Prague Metropolitan Police posted on Facebook and Instagram on Sunday afternoon.

“In an instant, a rescue operation was launched in cooperation with the Fire Department with the aim of rescuing seven cute lives from the cold jaws of the sewer drain. A few minutes and one ‘torn’ canal later, the event could be declared a success, as the entire duck family once again marched together to safety,” they added.

The mother duck had been loudly complaining at a sewer grating in the Palmovka depot for some time before a bus driver noticed and called for help.

Rescued baby ducks. Photo: Facebook, Metropolitan Police
Rescued baby ducks. Photo: Facebook, Metropolitan Police

Prague has a dedicated animal rescue service

While most of the comments had been from people showing appreciation, one group had some questions. The non-profit organization Prague Animal Rescue was concerned that the family was kept together.

“May I ask if you moved the whole family? You can't tell from the photos and if the mother duck didn't go with the chicks, the chicks would die. … We're just asking because without a mother people will call us about the orphaned ducklings,” Prague Animal Rescue asked under the Metropolitan Police post on Facebook.

They also said that either Prague Animal Rescue or the Prague Wild Animal Rescue Station should have been contacted, as they are specialists in handling animals.

Prague Animal Rescue says on its website that it had over 950 cases last year of animals that needed help from its emergency vehicle. In the spring, calls about ducks nesting in dangerous places make up much of their caseload.

Prague Wild Animal Rescue Station treats injured animals. It is operated by the city-run forestry company Lesy hl. m. Prahy and part of the National Network of Rescue Stations of the Czech Republic. Last year the rescue station handled 5,175 animals from 125 different species. Among last year’s patients were 453 wild ducks and 81 swans.

Prague Animal Rescue has a nonstop emergency line at 774 155 185 and Prague Wild Animal Rescue Station can be reached nonstop at 773 772 771.

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