mention "bird brains" to Ray Petersen, because after what happened
this week, he won't hear a word of it.
Ray Peterson, Special to the Sun / Mother
duck shows police officer where her ducklings fell through a
grate into a sewer underneath the Granville Street
Petersen, a community police officer for Granville Downtown
South, was walking in the 1500-block Granville Street (directly
under the Granville Bridge) Wednesday morning when a duck came up
and grabbed him by the pant leg. Then it started waddling around him
"I thought it was a bit goofy, so I shoved it away," Petersen
said in an interview.
But the duck, a female (he thinks it was a mallard), wasn't about
to give up that easily. Making sure she still had Petersen's eye,
she waddled up the road about 20 metres and lay on a storm sewer
Petersen watched and thought nothing of it.
"But when I started walking again, she did the same thing. She
ran around and grabbed me again."
It became obvious to him then that something was up.
So when she waddled off to the sewer grate a second time,
Petersen decided to follow.
"I went up to where the duck was lying and saw eight little
babies in the water below. They had fallen down between the grates."
So Petersen took action. He phoned police Sergeant Randy Kellens,
who arrived at the scene and, in turn, got in touch with two more
"When they came down, the duck ran around them as well, quacking.
Then she lay down on the grate," Petersen said.
While Kellens looked over into the grate, the duck sat on the
curb and watched.
Then the two constables, John Schilling and Allison Hill,
marshalled a tow truck that lifted the grate out of position,
allowing the eight ducklings to be rescued one by one with a
"While we were doing this, the mother duck just lay there and
watched," Petersen says.
Once the ducklings were safe, however, she set about marching
them down to False Creek, where they jumped into the water.
Kellens followed them to make sure they were all right, but
elected to remain on shore.
The experience has changed Petersen's mind about ducks. He thinks
they're a lot smarter than he used to.
And while he never ate duck before, he says he wouldn't dream of
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