Fire service and RSPCA rescue trapped duck from drain in Leeds city centre

Rescue teams and the fire service were called to Leeds city centre today after a duck got trapped in a drain.

By Rebecca Marano
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 5:02 pm

The duck, a mallard, was spotted by a member of the public stuck in an overflow drain in the River Aire on Wednesday, December 29.

RSPCA animal rescuer Inspector Joanne Taylor was called to in High Court Lane, near The Calls.

She could see the frightened mallard behind the drain in the water about 10 feet below a bridge near The Stew and Oyster pub.

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The mallard would have starved to death had it not been rescued.

She decided to call the fire service for help.

A firefighter was able to use a ladder to climb down to the drain and, with a rope attached to it, he was able to lift up the heavy metal grate.

Joanne said: “The firefighter was wearing breathing apparatus and protective clothing - he also had a mask on due to risks associated with bird flu.

“Once he had opened the drain cover, he tried using a swan hook to try and catch the bird but it was in such a flap she was struggling.

The RSPCA and fire service rescued a mallard who had gotten stuck in a drain in the River Aire. The photograph shows the moment the bird freely flies away.

"In the end, he had to go inside the grate to get the mallard out ands he was in good health so was able to freely fly off.

“It was great to see the bird fly off happily and I caught the moment in a photograph.

"I then watched as the bird went to preen in the water.

“We often call the fire service for help in some of our rescues and we are always grateful for their assistance. I would also like to thank the keen-eyed member of the public who spotted the bird’s predicament.

She added: "It was very difficult to see the trapped bird and she would have starved to death if the incident had not been reported to us.

“The RSPCA is the only charity with teams out rescuing animals across England and Wales this winter. We have to be there for all kinds of animals who need help, including wildlife.

"We rely entirely on donations so we’re calling on animal lovers to Join the Rescue to help keep our teams doing whatever it takes to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife.”

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