Just ducky: Plumber saves ducklings trapped under grate near Uptown Mall

Just ducky: Plumber saves ducklings trapped under grate near Uptown Mall

For veteran plumber Darrell Bales, rescuing ducklings is all in a day’s work.

“It’s a good feeling when can come to aid of someone or something helpless,” the Aquarian Plumbing owner says.

It all started Tuesday morning, when Bales was flagged down across from Uptown Mall in Saanich.

“There was a fellow just hopping up and down here waving his arms, looking for some help,” Bales says. “Some ducklings had fallen through a grate at the base of the crosswalk so Darrell to the rescue.”

Two homeless people had being trying to lift the grate to save the trapped ducklings, but it was too heavy.

“Out comes a hammer and I lifted the grate off,” Darrell recounts. “It weighed about 100 pounds but we managed to get it off.”

It was all under the watchful eye of the mama duck, who was waiting nearby.

“Mama Mallard was up about 20 or 40 feet and she wasn’t going very far from her babies,” Darrell says. “Mom was sitting here giving us a quack, giving us directions.”

After the grate was off, Darrell managed to scoop all nine or 10 babies out of the water in one go using a milk crate he had in the back of his vehicle.

The plumber-turned-duckling-rescuer then re-united the little fluff balls with their anxious mama.

“They jumped out, and off they went and end of story,” he says. “It was like 30 seconds of joy and a good way to start the day!”

Make that a just ducky start to the day.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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