A family of mallard ducks was released at Britannia Heritage Shipyard on Monday evening, after being rescued from a fifth-floor patio nest in Steveston.
Richmondite Tim Wanlin and his wife were on their daily after-work walk when they spotted the wholesome moment.
“We heard a bit of commotion. We came around the corner and these two women from the rescue group were just lifting some… little ducklings out of a cage.
“They had the ducklings in a net, and they were wrestling to get the mother out, who was not too happy to be handled because she obviously was in a bit of distress,” Wanlin told the Richmond News.
Volunteers Liz Grant and Alyson Gracey with Wildlife Rescue Association of BC (WRA) had captured the mother and six ducklings after a call was made to a helpline on Sunday night, explained Tayelor Martin, communications coordinator of WRA.
According to Martin, the rescue support team said there were no safe options for the ducklings to leave the patio, as it was too high for them to jump.
However, the distressed family of ducks was not the first to experience this conundrum. The WRA rescued another family of ducks who nested in the same spot earlier this year, said Martin.
In Wanlin’s video, the two volunteers made sure to release the ducklings and their mother into the river at the same time so they would not get separated.
“The mother duck looked relieved. She hopped in the water and dusted herself off,” said Wanlin.
“I was amazed at the ducklings, who had never seen water in their life, just instinctively knew to follow their mom and they all just swam off and as if life was getting back to normal.”
He said that it was the first time he had seen ducks being released in the area, even though he’s used to seeing baby ducks around.
“It was nice to see something kind happening, you know. We’ve got so much stuff going on these days that people get upset about, it was nice to see somebody doing something nice and some wildlife getting returned back to the river,” said Wanlin.
“We’ve encroached on their land so much that they have to find spots to safely nest, and I guess that’s where they thought was the best place to do it – on a rooftop.”