Animal Photos - Index
271. Spokane Duck Rescue, 2nd Year

270. Tribute 2 Mothers
272. Monkey Dog

Similar story to below: NY officer helps mother duck get her babies out of a storm sewer drain,0,3370016.story


By Neal Karlinsky, ABC News & KOMO Staff

SPOKANE, Wash. -- It might look ordinary enough: A mother duck nesting on a ledge in downtown Spokane and a banker watching from his second floor window.

But when the ducks hatched and the mother needed to get her ducklings to fresh water, a big problem became obvious.

The dozen day-old ducks couldn't follow. They were stuck on the ledge about 15 to 20 feet up, nervously pacing back and forth.

Enter Joel Armstrong who works at the bank. He was down on the sidewalk to help when suddenly, the first two ducks dropped like stones -- right into Armstrong's hands.

A center fielder couldn't have done better.

"C'mon, C'mon. Go with your mommy, there you go," he chided.

He kept up the chatter with mom, who was waiting at his ankles as a crowd started to build.

One at a time, with a steady hand and keen eye, this mild-mannered loan officer talked an entire family of baby ducks off a ledge.

"I think Joel's legacy is playing out right here - the duck man," said a bystander. "He's the duck man for life."

"Well, we've got eight of 12 that have jumped off finally today," Armstrong said. "I've been out here since 5:45 a.m."

At least Armstrong has some experience. Several ducklings were stuck up on that ledge last May as well. He rescued all but one.

But this year had an added challenge. A city-wide parade was scheduled to pass by in just a few hours. Crowds started to build, but once he got the last three down by ladder, the drama wasn't over.

Together, the banker and the mother duck led the babies to water, straight down the middle of a downtown parade route.

Get out of the way please!

He directed the ducks through the streets, around crowd barriers, and finally home to the river.

"Oh, we did it, man. That was an ordeal," Armstrong said. "I cant believe we did it. Wow, we did it!"

Who says a banker's life isn't exciting?

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, [email protected]