Wildlife rescuers had their work cut out after a mother duck and five ducklings decided to walk just over a mile through Seaford’s streets this afternoon (Tuesday, July 11).
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service was called to the junction of Princess Drive and Beacon Drive at 1.30pm.
On arrival the mum and ducklings were wandering south along Beacon Drive.
Rescuers were unsure where she may be trying to get to but suspected they may be heading for either a pond off Surrey Road near the railway line or Blatchington Pond off Sutton Drove.
Rescuers were worried that if they could easily move mum and ducklings to the wrong pond causing them to wander off once rescuers had left the scene potentially causing an accident if not spotted, or mum might fly off and abandon her babies if an attempt at capture failed.
Trevor Weeks MBE, rescue co-ordinator from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service, said: “These rescues are always difficult and trying to balance the disturbance to humans and the welfare of the mum and ducklings is difficult. She knows where she want to go we just need to get her there safely.”
It is common for ducks to nest in gardens and walk their young to ponds once they are several days old, as gardens are generally safer places to nest than at ponds and river.
Trevor added: “We decided that we would let her walk along the roads and keep her safe, we are sorry for any delay she may have caused anyone, but the general reaction of everyone was very positive.”
The route which took about an hour to walk took the mum and ducklings from Princess Drive, onto Beacon Drive, then into Kingsmead, onto Belgrave Road, and down Blatchington Hill and across the grass into Blatchington Pond off Sutton Drove.
Two veterinary ambulances were used to help keep rescuers and ducks safe.
Senior rescuer Chris Riddington said: “We would really like to thank everyone for being so patient and caring today. Tthere were so many smiling faces from motorists who very kindly slowed down and passed us carefully, helping us to get her to the safety of the pond.”
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