WATCH: After rescuing a duckling from drowning in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, a petition has been launched to save others by installing a ramp. As Luisa Alvarez tells us it’s not the first time baby ducklings have drowned there and BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre arc is also concerned.
Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a beautiful place to be but as Katie Bennett and her mother Susan witnessed Saturday, it can also be deadly for tiny ducklings.
While walking along the harbour, Bennett saw two ducklings slipping on logs desperately trying to get out. But the ledge around the harbour is too high and without a ramp in place to help them, they have nowhere else to go.
“They aren’t strong enough to stay in the water all the time so eventually they would drown if they couldn’t get out of the water,” said BC SPCA’s Wild ARC manager Andrea Wallace.
A mother duck will often stay with the ducklings for a little bit but when she realizes there is no hope, she will abandon them.
Bennett spoke to several harbour employees that day who told her ducklings simply don’t last long at the Inner Harbour as they either drown, get swept into the ocean or get eaten by other animals. The two ducklings Bennett tried to save were the last two left of nine.
After frantically running around trying to get help to save them, Bennett was able to save one of the ducklings but says workers were hesitant to help.
“They did say that they weren’t allowed to help them because if they do there’s a risk of being fined and fired. They told me that’s what happened to the last porter to do so. I feel worried to even say what companies were involved just cause I don’t want to get them in trouble,” said Bennett.
In a statement, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) said: ” Our employees follow guidelines to engage with any animals in safe and appropriate manner, which are set out by the various regulators responsible for that wildlife.”
Sadly, the duckling Bennett managed to get out didn’t make it but his death may not be in vain.
“We create these issues. We are the ones that came in here and built a harbour and built the docks and created this artificial environment and something as simple as us remedying it by putting in a ramp could save the ducklings life,” said Bennett.
BC SPCA’s Wild ARC has also reached out to the GVHA to ask for a ramp.