O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon community service officers rescue ducklings in distress

The O’Fallon community service officers release the family of ducks next to the CSX Transportation railroad tracks under Venita Drive near U.S. Highway 50.
The O’Fallon community service officers release the family of ducks next to the CSX Transportation railroad tracks under Venita Drive near U.S. Highway 50. Courtesy photo

A handful of citizens working alongside a couple O’Fallon Police Department community service officers helped reunite a distraught mother duck with her four hatchlings Monday.

Stacy Rigney, who has worked at the MotoMart at 970 U.S. Highway 50 since 2011, said she could tell something was wrong by the way the mother duck was “pacing back and forth.”

“I even fed her some bread, but she didn’t seem interested,” Rigney said, adding she could tell the animal “seemed worried.

But little did she know that the bird’s panic was over the plight of her progeny.

Soon thereafter, a couple customers noticed the duck, too. Then they heard it — “little quacking noises.” They were coming from a nearby drainage culvert. Four ducklings had fallen through the grate and could not figure out how to escape.

A BRAVE RESCUE MISSION ENDS WITH FOUR BABY DUCKS REUNITED WITH THEIR MOTHER!On Monday morning, O'Fallon Police...

Posted by Official City of O'Fallon on Monday, June 19, 2017

O’Fallon Police Sgt. Mike Mojzis said police received the call around 7:48 a.m., and a rescue operation commenced.

Community service officers Taylor Davis and Shane Mason arrived and tried to coax the ducklings to an opening in the 30-foot stretch of pipe where they could scoop them up. Two ducklings walked right out, but their siblings required a little more prompting, Mojzis said.

First, the community officers used buckets of water to try and flush them down the long stretch of pipe. But ultimately, it was a high-tech duck call that lured them out.

It was really interesting. I’m glad they’re OK.

Stacy Rigney, MotoMart employee

“It was really neat, actually. Shane Mason said he could hear the duckling quacking but was having trouble, so he got his phone out and used the sound from a video of ducks quacking on YouTube to lure the ducklings down the pipe,” Mojzis said.

But in the commotion, the mother duck took the first ducklings on a walk toward the O’Fallon Family Sports Park, Mojzis said.

“We were looking for mama, and then we found her on the north side of the CSX Transportation railroad tracks, so we brought the other two babies to meet up with her,” Mojzis said.

I noticed her pacing back and forth this morning before my shift, and I even fed her some bread, but she didn’t seem interested.

Stacy Rigney, MotoMart employee

An hour after it began, the mission was complete, with a happy ending.

“Last I saw, they were all seen walking towards the park with mama just doing their own thing,” Mojzis said.

“It was really interesting. I’m glad they’re OK,” Rigney said of the feathered family.

Robyn L. Kirsch: 618-239-2690, @BND_RobynKirsch

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