VIDEO: Teachers, officer rescue eight ducklings from Saanich school storm drain

Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Glen Palahicky, principal of St. Andrew’s Regional High School, carried a kennel containing a mother duck and her 11 babies down to Swan Lake to be safely released on May 7. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)Glen Palahicky, principal of St. Andrew’s Regional High School, carried a kennel containing a mother duck and her 11 babies down to Swan Lake to be safely released on May 7. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

It’s not every day you see a Saanich Animal Control officer elbow deep in a storm drain, but that was the scene at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on McKenzie Avenue on Friday morning as staff, students and an officer worked to rescue eight ducklings.

When Danny Brock, the school’s religion teacher, got to campus at about 9 a.m. on May 7, he spotted a mother duck with her 11 fuzzy babies trailing after her. But by the time principal Glen Palahicky arrived 30 minutes later, there were only three ducklings and the mother was hovering near a large storm drain in the front parking lot. The educators quickly realized that the other eight ducklings had fallen through the large slats in the metal drain cover and called the Saanich Police Department.

Saanich Animal Control officer Derek Rees and some helpers rescued eight ducks from a storm drain at St. Andrew’s Regional High School on May 7. The mother and her 11 babies were safely released at Swan Lake. (Photo courtesy Glen Palahicky)

READ ALSO: Pair of ducks make Saanich Municipal Hall a nursery for 11 hatchlings

Animal Control officer Derek Rees rushed to the campus. While they waited, Brock, Palahicky and some students captured the mother and three remaining babies so they wouldn’t be separated from the ones waiting to be rescued.

The rescue party discovered the eight fallen ducklings had made their way through an underground pipe and ended up in a connected storm drain on the west end of the property. Rees removed the cover on the second drain and began scooping the ducklings from the mucky water with a large net as mom and siblings chirped and quacked loudly.

Storm drains are the worst because the slats are large enough for ducklings to fall in, Rees said. It’s a common occurrence and ducks follow each other so when one goes in, the rest tumble in too.

READ ALSO: Feral cat rescue group looking for support

He said Saanich Animal Control has already had about five calls for ducklings in storm drains this season.

Luckily, the campus was nearly empty on May 7 because everyone had the day off for parent-teacher day so there wasn’t any traffic, Palahicky said. Once the whole family was in a kennel, he helped Rees with the release at Swan Lake and was pleased to see them waddle off into the marsh safely.

Anyone who spots a duck family somewhere unsafe can gently capture them and release them somewhere duck-friendly like Swan Lake, Rees said. Those who spot ducklings in a storm drain should call the Saanich police non-emergency line at 250-475-4321 to reach Animal Control.


Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

birdsDistrict of Saanichvideo

Just Posted

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

North Saanich council Monday will consider the results of a survey conducted by the North Saanich Residents Association that finds little support for increased densification. (Black Press Media File)
Survey finds little support for increased density in North Saanich

North Saanich Residents Association conducted the online survey

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stood at 6.3 per cent in May 2021, nearly unchanged from April’s rate of 6.2 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stagnates at 6.3 per cent in May

Latest figures reflect conditions before lifting of public health measures

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

Victoria police are looking for Delmer Esau who was last seen in Esquimalt June 1. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Search continues for man last seen in Esquimalt

Delmer Esau, 35, hasn’t been seen since June 1

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read