New Port Richey animal protection unit rescues baby ducklings

Baby ducklings rescued under tree grate

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Underneath a grate surrounding a tree near Main Street in New Port Richey, Jeff McReynolds made an unusual discovery.

"You can see duck feathers and eggs shells in what was obviously a nest," he said.

McReynolds is an animal control officer for the city. He received a call saying someone spotted a duck pacing near an area where tiny chirping noises could be heard, but not seen.  It turns out a mother duck laid her eggs under a tree, her babies hatched and they couldn't get out without some help.

"They just kept coming and coming and coming," he said.

McReynolds couldn't believe how many ducks were stuck. He counted 16 total.

"They were too short to jump out of the hole themselves so we had to kind of corral them inside and lift them out by hand," he said.

McReynolds believes if he wouldn't have been alerted by an observant person this story would have ended differently.

"They were too small to get out on their own, so there is no question they would have died," he said.

McReynold's job wasn't over yet. This animal control officer whose only been on the job for two months had to stop traffic and guide the new born ducklings  to a pond nearby.

"There were a lot of bewildered stares. some wondered why I was stopping traffic obviously in a hurry to get where they were going, but it was for a good cause," he said.

It looks like all the ducks are in good health. We found them with their mom enjoying their new home in a safer location.  McReynolds couldn't be happier with his job.

"I go home every single day knowing I saved lives and that is why I do this," he said. 

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