Myrtle Beach police relocated a family of ducks Monday after someone reported ducklings had fallen through a drainage grate, according to animal control officer Steven Trott.
He said the department gets calls about ducks falling through the storm drains frequently during the spring and summer.
“It’s happened four times already this spring and we will probably have it another 20 times before the summer is over,” he said. “It’s just the way the ducklings follow their mom.”
Chris Fahey, who works at Costco, was on a break from his job when he said he overheard a duck crying for help in a grate near Best Buy.
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“There was a duck just going stir crazy, quacking away,” he said. “She was looking in the drain and quacking, looking up and quacking. My heart broke instantly. I didn’t know what to do.”
Fahey estimated that it was about an 8-foot drop to where the ducklings were, and said they were covered in filth.
“I’ve been an animal lover all my life,” he said. “I’ve got three kids of my own. I can just imagine what the mom was thinking.”
Trott said he arrived about 8:15 a.m. Monday and spent an hour and a half rounding up the 11 ducklings – and their mom – and took them to a secluded pond near The Market Common.
“It’s not difficult to gather the mom because a good mother duck won’t leave the babies,” he said. “The difficulty is getting to the storm drain.”
In this instance, the duck watched anxiously and flew at Trott a couple times when the ducklings made what he described as a “warning noise.”
“She’s very protective,” he said. “We will get hit a couple of times, but it doesn’t hurt.”
Fahey said he didn’t realize Myrtle Beach police handled such calls.
Anyone in the city who sees ducklings or other animals in distress can call the Myrtle Beach police department by dialing 918-1382.