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DNR rescues six ducklings from storm drain in most heartwarming story of the day [UPDATE]

Shawn Nystrand on Flickr under Creative Commons
On Saturday night, passengers taking the light rail downtown happened upon a strange sight: A mama duck circling the storm drain in distress.

A short investigation explained why: her six ducklings had fallen between the cracks and were trapped underground.

DNR rescues six ducklings from storm drain in most heartwarming story of the day [UPDATE]

Some compassionate passerby called the police, who referred the case to the Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR not only retrieved the ducklings, but left a note to reassure all the concerned witnesses who had seen the poor mother and worried if the family would be reunited.

"The six ducklings trapped in the sewer were rescued!!" the sign reads.

DNR rescues six ducklings from storm drain in most heartwarming story of the day [UPDATE]
@laminn on Twitter

@laminn on Twitter

We have a call out to DNR and will update this post when the duck-saving heroes get back to us.

UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.
Thor Nelson, a Minneapolis-based conservation officer with the DNR, isn't sure who the hero of this story is. "It's not me this time," he says, adding that it could be another officer or Animal Care and Control.

But duckling rescues aren't beyond the bounds of his job description.

"I've lifted a grate and crawled into a storm sewer and gotten baby mallards out of there," Nelson says. "Once the little ones get separated from the mother, they make a lot of noise, and somebody will hear them peeping at the bottom of a storm sewer."

In spring and early summer, Nelson will get called to a rescue mission "once every couple weeks," and says that this year, the number is double what he's seen in his past seven seasons. Also not unheard of: Calls from citizens concerned about ducks' choice of nesting location, like the social ducks who set up house in the Mall of America flower pots.

One thing Nelson's not in the habit of doing, though, is signing his work, like the rescuer did here. "I never have," he says. "But often there's somebody nearby, like a resident, and the news travels through word of mouth."


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