Surrey firefighters rescue ducklings after being left on 50 feet high roof

Fireman holding a little duckling
-Credit: (Image: RSPCA and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service)

The RSPCA and the Surrey fire service rescued eight adorable ducklings that hatched inside a residential chimney stack in Surrey. It was discovered that the baby mallards were left on the property roof 50 feet high in a precarious position, and larger birds were eyeing them up.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, as well as the RSPCA, arrived at the address in Thistledene, Thames Ditton, to rescue the birds on Monday, June 17. The mother became stuck after laying the eggs in the chimney stack.

One duckling fell from the roof, but was caught by a member of public with a net. The baby bird was unhurt and kept nearby and waited to be reunited with it's family.


Ducklings in a box lined with newspaper
The ducklings were taken to a shelter for swans -Credit:RSPCA and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Officers used a large aerial platform to get the ducklings down from the roof, but sadly their mother flew off and couldn't be traced. The little birds were taken to a swan rescue nearby called Swan Support, and have been named after some of their rescuers including Toddy and Wardy.

Swan Support is located in Bray, Berkshire, and is RSPCA-approved. Once the birds are old enough, they will be released back into the wild.

A local resident had contacted the RSPCA and fire service after hearing the young birds in distress. Deputy Chief Inspector Sandy Barlow who attended the rescue, said: “Fortunately we got to the ducklings in the nick of time as they were vulnerable to predators and the extreme heat.

“Fortunately a member of the public heard a commotion and saw some fluffy down on the chimney pot and we are so grateful to the fire service for coming out. Officers from Esher Fire Station and Guildford attended and brought an aerial platform as the ducks were stranded over 50 feet up.

“The local residents were also brilliant. Another duckling (the ninth) fell off the roof, but was caught by a net a member of the public had put in place at the back of the property.

Sandy holds the box with the ducklings inside
Deputy Chief Inspector Sandy Barlow from the RSPCA helped with the rescue -Credit:RSPCA and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

“Sadly the mother mallard flew off and while we did wait for her with the ducklings, the location was half a mile from the river and it is highly unlikely they would have followed her onto the water. Mallards normally nest on dry ground near to water, so the ducklings would have struggled to stay with their mother to find food.”

The RSPCA advice for birds nesting in chimneys is to leave them alone, as they are protected bt law. If an animal is in distress, and it is safe to intervene, always bring it to the nearest vet.

For more information on animal rescue, check out the RSPCA website here.

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