Ducklings rescued from sewer pipe in SLO

San Luis Obispo firefighters and police officers freed three ducklings from a sewer pipe Thursday morning and reunited them with their mother before escorting the family of 11 ducks back to the San Luis Creek, where they were last seen getting along swimmingly.

San Luis Obispo Fire Battalion Chief Neal Berryman said the department received a report of ducklings having fallen into a 5-foot-deep sewer pipe on the 500 block of Higuera Street downtown at about 9:50 a.m.

Five firefighters and two police officers responded to the parking lot, where they found three ducklings at the bottom of a dark drainage pipe and eventually used a long tool used to pick up trash to capture them.

“They were pretty hard to get,” Berryman said. “You had to catch them just right.”

Once the three were freed from the pipe, Berryman said firefighters and police officers had a difficult time gathering the entire family, and had to wing it.

“Once we got them out we ended up having to catch the rest of them,” Berryman said. “Luckily we eventually got them cornered and into a cat carrier.”

He said once they collected the ducklings in the carrier, they walked the mother duck from the location — temporarily stopping traffic on Higuera Street to do so — before finding access to the creek from behind the Creamery building, where the ducks were released.