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Ducklings saved from storm drain in South Elgin

SOUTH ELGIN – Steve Super said employees of the South Elgin Public Works Department usually encounter debris when they clear the city’s storm drains.

But Wednesday morning, one village worker helped rescue 11 ducklings from a storm sewer on Waterside Drive in South Elgin.

“We are fishing stuff out of the storm sewer system occasionally,” said Super, director of South Elgin Public Works. “But most of the time it’s debris ... not actual ducks.”

The ducklings were rescued with the help of village worker Craig Petschow and a pair of observant South Elgin residents.

Steve and Dixie Thompson said they looked out their window around 6 a.m. Wednesday and noticed a duck circling the street near a storm drain grate in front of their home.

When they went outside to see what was in the drain, they saw almost a dozen ducklings trapped in the storm drain.

They decided to call the police department’s nonemergency number to report it and then were directed to call public works.

Petschow arrived to inspect the drain.

“He could see about six feet down and counted 11 ducklings,” Steve Thompson said. “For all I know, they were in there all night.”

Steve Thompson said Petschow didn’t have the equipment he needed to rescue them, so he went home and returned with a net. He said Petschow then scooped them up and put them in a laundry basket.

Thompson said the mother duck must have walked over the storm grate, and all of her ducklings followed suit.

Thompson said the mother duck stayed nearby during the rescue.

The ducklings were taken to a retention pond behind their home.

An adult duck, presumably the mother, eventually caught up with the ducklings and took them for a swim in the pond.

“I should compliment [Petschow],” Thompson said. “He did the extra mile here to rescue them.”

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