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13 lucky ducklings saved from storm sewer in Park Rapids

One of the 13 rescued ducklings is reunited with its mother last week after being pulled from the sewer. (Sarah Smith/Park Rapids Enterprise)

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. - The tale of the rescue of 13 lucky ducks last week here prompted a variety of sightings over the past long weekend.

On May 20, two women spotted a female mallard duck honking in distress on a street corner. After finding the ducklings in the storm sewer, they called emergency services. Firefighters responded and to a pick axe and other tools to the sewer so that they could remove the ducks.

The rescue attracted a sizable crowd on onlookers who cheered when each baby was lifted above ground.

Since the rescue, locals have left messages of concern with the local newspaper, the Park Rapids Enterprise, about the ducks and the mom's apparent disregard for safety. The messages claim the ducks were spotted hiking around the downtown area again even after city workers freed them and released them in the river.

One duckling suffered an injured a leg and had a pronounced limp, which made the group recognizable.

"The mother was marching them around downtown," said one man in a voicemail message to the paper. It was unclear what day this occurred.

"We saw a group of ducks heading from Bridge Street to (Highway) 34," faxed Dianne Wylie, shortly after the rescue.

"We worried they would get into traffic but could not stop. We did note that the hen had over 10 ducklings. One was stopping and sitting down as they went. We thought due to being tired; perhaps it was an injured leg?"

Wylie concluded her fax with a P.S.: "The mom seemed to be on a mission and walking fast."

The Park Rapids (Minn.) Enterprise and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.