We don't normally think of storm sewer drains as a safety hazard. But that's because we're not baby ducks.
This is the time of year when duckling rescues are peaking in Minnesota. On Friday alone, two Minnesota cities a couple hundred miles apart reported rescues of ducks from storm sewers.
The photo above is from the city of Medina, where two ducklings were saved after falling through a drain in front of a Target store. Police and public works employees came to the rescue.
On the same morning a similar situation was unfolding 200 miles away in Moorhead. In that case, Moorhead police report that the mother duck was frightened away from the scene by a dog.
So, at least for now, the rescued ducklings are orphans. But one of the police officers lives on a farm and plans to take them in.
Why is it so common?
There's no doubt that it is pretty common for baby ducks to fall into storm drains.
It happened on Mother's Day in Fridley. But it's June that seems to be high season for these mishaps.
As for the why, it's mainly just a matter of the ducklings following their mom wherever she goes. And sometimes she waddles across a drain with spaces big enough for a duckling to fall through.
Last June a DNR officer told GoMN another factor is that the babies may be too small to hop up onto the curb, so they walk in the gutter instead.
If you see a duck (or any small animal) fall into the sewer, the DNR recommends calling your city offices who will send over people who know how to help. After all, it happens a lot – all over the world, too, as this heartwarming video from Europe shows.