Mass. trooper rescues ducklings from storm drain

Gayla Cawley
Daily Item

NAHANT, Mass. — For some families — even those of a different species — a small act of kindness can make “all the difference in the world.” 

On Saturday morning, State Police Trooper Jim Maloney worked with local and state partners to rescue eight ducklings trapped in a storm drain in the Nahant Beach parking lot, state police said. 

Following the rescue, the eight ducklings were reunited with the mother duck who was waiting anxiously nearby, state police said.

“It’s a state trooper’s most fundamental mission to help others in a time of crisis and danger,” state police said in a Facebook post. “Sometimes, those in danger cannot speak for themselves. And sometimes they are a different species.

“So, when Massachusetts State Trooper Jim Maloney came across some baby ducks who had fallen through the grate of a storm drain in the parking lot at Nahant Beach Saturday morning, he fulfilled that mission to help others, with some assistance from our state and local partners.”

Shortly before 9:30 a.m., Maloney noticed eight ducklings were trapped in the water under a heavy grate. The ducklings’ mother and another baby sibling who had not fallen through were waiting nearby “because Mama would not leave her trapped babies,” state police said. 

Maloney contacted the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages the beach, and asked for someone to respond with a crowbar. Backup from DCR, Nahant’s Department of Public Works and an Animal Control officer from Lynn soon arrived and the rescue was underway, state police said. 

A Nahant DPW crew member pried open the gate, Lynn’s Animal Control officer fished out the ducklings with a net and the ducklings were placed in a cardboard box in Maloney’s cruiser until the mother duck came out of the grass to claim her ducklings, state police said. 

By 10 a.m., the mother duck had emerged from the brush, and was rewarded with the ducklings being taken out of the cardboard box and placed at the edge of the grass to entice a reunion, state police said.

“The mother immediately went to them, and together she and her nine babies — the family fully reunited — walked back into the grass,” state police said. “A small act amid the enormity of the ongoing health crisis, perhaps, but for one mother duck and her tiny babies, it made all the difference in the world.” McClatchy-Tribune News Service