Photo of the Day: To Protect & Serve…With a Little Help
By Brandi Makuski
The Rescuers: Stevens Point Police Officer Brian Brooks (left), Stevens Point resident Josh Hurning, 30 (center), Elaine Stone, a 21 year-old Irish exchange student studying dance at UWSP (far right), and Stevens Point Police Officer Gary Anderson (right, face hidden) work together to rescue seven ducklings that fell down a storm drain on Water Street Sunday afternoon.
Several cars slowed or stopped in the roadway during the rescue with motorists offering to help.
According to witnesses on the scene, police were called by a passing motorist shortly before 1 PM on Sunday after seven ducklings took a misstep and disappeared into the drain while crossing the road with their mother. Brooks and Anderson tried for several minutes to lift the storm grate to no avail and had to resort to unusual measures to lift the animals to safety using a fishing net, which were unsuccessful.
A series of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians soon congregated and used items on their person, along with items from the officers’ vehicles, to save the ducklings. A push broom was elongated using a picket fence post and duck tape, and the fishing net was reinforced with a construction worker’s reflective vest secured with wiring to prevent the ducklings from falling through.
Brooks, Anderson and Hurning worked together to coax the ducklings, one by one, into the net, then place them in Stone’s sweatshirt or Hurning’s lunch cooler. Stone and another passerby, Kathy Schnieder of Amherst, delivered the ducklings to their mother, who stayed nearby the entire time.
The effort took more than an hour. All seven ducks were rescued safely.