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  • Auto technicians at Lovering Volvo in Nashua come to the rescue of a group of baby ducklings that fell through a sewer grate Wednesday. Photo courtesty of John Chaput.
  • PASSING THROUGH — A wood duck, left, floating in one of the ponds in DuBois' Beaver Meadow wetlands, is met by a mallard. While a colony of mallards stay in the DuBois area, this wood duck, and the rest of its flock, is probably en route to the southern range for the winter. (Photo by Tom Bukousky)
Saturday, April 28, 2012

That’s quacktastic! Nashua auto techs come to rescue of baby ducklings

NASHUA – A group of auto technicians played the role of hero to a mother duck and her ducklings earlier this week.

Wednesday afternoon, two auto techs at Lovering Volvo of Nashua coming back from lunch noticed the feathered family waddling toward the Merrimack River.

As they passed over a sewer grate, the mother got across fine, but the baby ducklings started dropping through the holes in the grate. The techs immediately dropped what they were doing and came to the rescue of the family.

“The first thought was to call animal control,” said John Chaput, service and parts director.

But it soon became clear there was no time for that, so the techs took the matter into their own hands. They took the sewer grate off and lowered a bucket down by rope to scoop them up and save them. Chaput estimated about seven or eight ducklings had fallen through.

“The mother was frantically quacking and pacing back and forth,” Chaput said.

That plan worked for most of the ducklings, but things looked grim when one started going into a pipe that led to another sewer. Thinking quickly, the techs used a hose to spray water into the other sewer, using water pressure to rescue the last duckling.

They were all saved and the family continued its trek toward the river.

“We escorted them down to the river,” Chaput said. “We didn’t want them to take a wrong turn and end up on the DW Highway.”

It was an unusual task for the crew, but Chaput said they came together on short notice and got the job done.

“It was awesome to see those guys come to the rescue,” Chaput said. “In this business, techs sometimes get a bad rap, but they were all out there. One almost dove in, he was so concerned about getting them all.”

Michael Brindley can be reached at 594-6426 or mbrindley@nashuatelegraph.com.