Duck rescue: Kelowna men save ducklings from storm drain

Local retirees saved some local ducks from certain death.

Eight ducklings were saved from certain death and reunited with their harried mother thanks to the quick thinking of three Kelowna men.

Ron Howden, a retired principal, and Bob Skomedal, a retired RCMP officer, were out for their morning bike ride through the Balmoral retirement community where they live when they came upon the mother duck in distress.

It was around 7 a.m., said Skomedal, and the mother duck and four ducklings were “quacking away.”

“We thought it was maybe because we were biking by and she was upset,” said Skomedal.

They continued on their way and were back hour later. And where they left her, the mother duck was quacking even more loudly. At that point, however, she only had one duckling.

“Right where she was there was a storm drain, and when we looked down we could see these little ducklings swimming around,” he said, adding that they had been joined by neighbour Jake Schellenberg at that point.

READ MORE: DUCKS AND BEAVERS SHARE A MEAL

“The grate was lifted off and we realized the water was down too far — we couldn’t reach it with our arms,” he said.

“I fish a bit, and have a nice soft fishing net with a long handle. I was able to scoop them up carefully. And I believe there were eight down there and three of them had been there quite awhile.”

Howden said they were lucky to get them out when they did.

“The last three we got out had been in the water the longest,” he said. “They were in rough shape when we got them out and they couldn’t stand. We put them on the grass in a sunny spot.”

They shivered away while the mother duck and the other seven ducklings headed toward Munson pond.

A neighbour headed back toward the mama and its ducklings and tried to turn her attention to the ones that were left behind. At that point they all joined together.

It was a quick rescue, but both men are chuffed with the effort they made.

“You know, it feels pretty good,” said Skomedal.

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