Eight baby ducklings were reunited Saturday with their mom and other sibling, thanks to a Massachusetts State Trooper who led a rescue mission involving state and local partners.
Trooper Jim Maloney was patrolling the Nahant Beach parking lot Saturday morning when he spotted the eight baby ducks who had fallen through the grate of a storm drain. The ducklings were trapped in the water under the heavy grate around 9:20 a.m.
The baby ducks' mother and one of their siblings — the only baby who had not fallen through the grate — were standing off at a short distance because momma duck was unwilling to leave her trapped babies.
Trooper Maloney sprang into action, calling the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which runs the beach, to ask them to send someone with a crowbar.
DCR workers responded, as did Nahant's Department of Public Works, Lynn Animal Control, and Trooper Tim Benedetto.
It was a team effort as Nahant DPW pried open the grate, and the Lynn Animal Control officer used a net to fish the ducklings out of the drain.
While the rescue mission was underway, the ducklings' mother had moved into a grassy area near the drain to wait.
Once safely out of the storm drain, the eight baby ducks were placed in a cardboard box that Trooper Maloney put inside his police cruiser, with the heat on, so they could wait for the mother duck to come out of the brush to take her babies back.
At 10 a.m. when the momma and other baby duck emerged from the nearby grass and brush, the eight ducklings were taken from the box inside Trooper Maloney's cruiser and placed at the edge of the grass. Their mother immediately went to them, and together she and her nine babies — the duck family fully reunited, thanks to Trooper Maloney — walked back into the grass.
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Massachusetts State Police said in a Facebook post on Sunday that it was "a small act amid the enormity of the ongoing health crisis, perhaps, but for one mother duck and her tiny babies, it made all the difference in the world."