Topsfield firefighters rescue ducklings from Route 1 drain

David Rogers

Motorists often make way for ducklings but the same can’t be said for storm drains as Topsfield firefighters learned on Sunday. Several rescue personnel climbed down a Route 1 catch basin to retrieve seven baby ducks that had fallen into it around 2:30 p.m.

Topsfield Fire Capt. Jennifer Collins-Brown said Don Enos of Essex and his wife were driving on Route 1 when he noticed a mother duck and 10 ducklings cross the busy state road. He then saw seven of the brood fall into a catch basin and quickly called for help.

Collins-Brown said she and other firefighters removed the lid and placed a ladder down the drain. A first attempt to catch the baby ducks was unsuccessful as they scattered. A second attempt, this time with a butterfly net, proved more successful as the ducks were caught and returned to the surface.

“They all looked great, really cute,” Collins-Brown said. “Very lively.”

Unfortunately, the mother duck and three other ducklings were nowhere to be found. Collins-Brown said the ducklings were placed in a nearby stream. A member of the state’s Environmental Police was on hand as well to make sure the animals were OK.

Springtime often sees a rash of similar incidents, Collins-Brown said, as animals produce litters and then travel.