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Video: Man Climbs Into Storm Drain to Save Babies Stuck Inside After Hearing Distress Call

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Springtime is full of new beginnings and fresh starts.

Flowers, generally more pleasant weather and baby animals are staples of the season.

For many baby animals, the world is full of dangers, but thankfully for some of them, there are people who care enough to help.

Mike Plumides, 56, a filmmaker from Charlotte, North Carolina, became a hero to a family of eight ducks recently. While driving on a neighborhood street, he saw a female duck by itself, agitated, next to a storm drain.

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She was making a lot of fuss, and it didn’t take Plumides too long to guess what must have happened.

“She was circling the storm drain and quacking loudly,” he told People. “She was clearly in distress, so I realized she must have some ducklings because she just kept circling that drain.”

He tried to lift the drain cover himself, but it was too heavy. Not long after, local resident Kathy Rowan approached him. She was walking in the neighborhood when she, too, felt her heartstrings tugged for the mama duck’s plight.

“The mother was in so much distress, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?'” she said. “I knew I couldn’t lift the grate.”

Plumides managed to wave another good Samaritan down, and between the two of them, they were able to move the cover. The next part was a little tricky.

“I climbed down in, and luckily, about four feet down, there was another drain coming from the other side of the street so I could put my foot on that to help me down,” Plumides said.

“Thankfully, we haven’t had much rain, so it was pretty dry. When I got down there, I could see seven ducklings, and they were all huddled in the corner together.

“I went down in, and they were scared at first, so they would jump out of my hand. They didn’t know I was there to save them.”

He gently lifted them out and set them on the grass, where they skittered toward their mother. She stood at a safe distance, and once she had a few of her babies gathered around her, she started to calm down.

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“She stayed about ten feet away the whole time watching what I was doing, but she was no longer in distress,” the ducklings’ knight in shining armor said. “Once I put the last two out, she came back down, and they all gathered together and continued to walk on.”

The hardest part of the rescue for Plumides was rescuing himself — getting back out of the drain proved to be much trickier than getting into it. By the time he emerged, the little feathered family had disappeared.

“I didn’t even get to say goodbye, but it made me happy,” he said. “I cried after. I cried happy tears that I did something good and hopefully inspired others to do good.”

Rowan, who’d filmed the rescue, was also touched by witnessing the kind encounter.

“Oh gosh, it almost took my breath away,” she said. “It was such a sweet thing seeing the ducklings come out, and seeing the mother was the most incredible thing. The way she all of a sudden saw her babies and just calmed down. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking