A mother duck and her nine ducklings are safely out of traffic and back in the water, thanks to a quick-thinking Calgary cab driver.
Driver, Urga Adunga, faced a simple choice when he saw the stranded ducks: stop to help or keep driving and let them find their own way out.
“I didn’t want to pass them because there is no way for them to escape from the road, it’s blocked all the way,” he told CBC News.
So with his hazard lights flashing, Adunga pulled over and enlisted the help of some of his fellow drivers to gather the frightened ducks into his cab, where they huddled together in the back seat.
Adunga drove the ducks to the nearest bank of the Bow River, which he estimates would have normally cost $21. The babies were quick to jump out of the car, but Mama Duck needed a little more coaxing. In the end, all ten ducks had returned safely to the water, and Adunga cleaned up his seat and continued on his way.
“As a human it is our responsibility to protect those animals, and nature and the environment,” he said. “I could do it again too. Not only the animals, humans too. We have to rescue each other, we have to help each other.”
The internet is abuzz with stories of kind-hearted people saving curious ducklings who have wandered into traffic or fallen down drains. These stories inspire more people to be on the lookout for baby animals to save, but there are ways to rescue an animal in trouble that are both safe for the animal and for the rescuer.
In the case of Urga Adunga, he used his hazard lights to signal to other drivers that something was going on. Fortunately for both Adunga and the ducklings, handling ducks is not usually dangerous. Mother birds still keep their babies if they’re touched by humans.
Unless an animal is in immediate trouble, the best idea is to contact the local Department of Fish and Game, Wildlife Resources, or other local, licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. Every state has one, and when living in an area frequented by wildlife, it is ideal to have their number on file.
Want to save a baby animal? Make sure it needs to be saved. Some animals, like deer and foxes, leave their babies in hiding places while they look for food. Others, like squirrels or baby birds, can fall out of their nests and be returned to them. In any case, if the situation is not an emergency, it is best to seek advice from a wildlife professional before attempting to handle any wild animal. This will ensure the best chance of recovery for the animal and the safest experience for the rescuer.