Ducklings rescued after being stuck in Louisville manhole


The 12 ducklings were rescued after a firefighter climbed into a manhole and used YouTube duck calls and other ducklings to get the babies out.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Christa Hall called everyone after seeing a frantic mother duck in the parking lot of Patrick’s Furniture near Preston Highway after the duck’s 12 ducklings fell through a grated manhole.

She and a group of worried strangers waited for the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) and Okolona Fire Department to arrive and devised a plan of action to save the ducklings.

“It shows that there is still good in the world,” said one woman.

“It’s a miracle,” Hall told WHAS11 holding the first rescued duckling. She named the little yellow and brown baby bird “Lucky.”

MSD removed the grated manhole cover with one of their trucks and Okolona firefighters quickly got to work. Firefighter Taylor McMahan climbed into the manhole, not much bigger than himself, and began to retrieve ducklings.

When some of the ducklings were out of reach, McMahan held on to one of the rescued siblings and used their charlatans to lure the other ducklings away. At one point, McMahan pulled out his phone and took duck calls.

After nearly two hours, the last of the ducklings was removed from the manhole and all were taken back to their nest in a small bush on one of the medians in the parking lot. After all the trucks and cars were cleared, the mother duck ran across the parking lot and found the 12 ducklings, safe and sound.

“It was cold, but it was cool. Definitely cool,” McMahan said afterwards. “It was nice to get them all out of there without us all missing them.”

Hall called the act of kindness from everyone involved a “blessing.”

“It was heartwarming,” she said. “They’re amazing. Not only do they fight fires, but they’re there for other needs as well. Just amazing men.”

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