Teamwork Helps Rescue Some Lucky Ducklings

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - “I was on my way to Annaville when I got the call,” said Environmental Quality Specialist Rebecca Pezzi. “When I got there, I realized this was a very unique situation.”

Pezzi’s combination of surprise and amusement was shared by the handful of onlookers who had gathered around the square concrete opening on Alameda Street in front of Doctor’s Regional Hospital. The spectators were soon joined by members of the City’s Wastewater Department who responded to Pezzi’s call for assistance. What everyone found, to their amazement, was a group of newly born Black-bellied whistling ducklings and their mother in serious need of care.

“We found out about these newborn ducklings when hospital security reported hearing them,” said Storm Water Treatment Project Manager Kori Ellien.  “Right away, Rebecca Pezzi was on her way to the area to find out more, and she was the one who called and requested assistance from our team.”

Luckily, Robert Lopez’s storm water crew responded to Pezzi’s call and was soon on the scene to pull the group of ducklings to safety. Utilities Tech 1 Brian Rivera and Utilities Tech 3 Ramon Rangel removed the steel caging leading to the drain and Utilities Tech 1-Temp Ricardo Perez went down to retrieve the ducklings. The mother had apparently given birth to 14 ducklings in the concrete inlet of the storm drain but flew away when help arrived and did not return. Pezzi immediately placed the ducklings in a big white bucket and took them to the Texas Sealife Center on Padre Island. The crew waited to see if the mother would return, but she did not.

“This is the first duckling rescue I have ever seen,” said Pezzi. “Robert Lopez’s storm water crew was essential and it was definitely a team effort.”