Ducks Crossing: Davis County road work crew finds new home for duck family

Local News

Courtesy of UDOT

KAYSVILLE (ABC4) – Why did the family of ducks cross the road?

Obviously, to get to the other side.

How did they end up getting out of the dangerous path of oncoming cars?

With the help of a bunch of road construction workers, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

A video on UDOT’s Twitter page on Tuesday showed a crew of workers transporting a family of ducks, including the mother and her ducklings, to their new home at a retention pond on Kaysville. According to the accompanying tweet, the workers had seen the mother duck attempt to take her babies across the road on Highway 89 in Davis County for over a week. After repeatedly stopping her so that she or the ducks wouldn’t fall victim to a tragedy, they decided to take matters into their own hands.

“It’s just trying to do the right thing and help out where we can,” UDOT spokesperson John Gleason tells ABC4. These workers saw an opportunity to help a mother and her ducklings out. And also, hopefully, to avoid a bad situation on our roads as well.”

When animals cross the road, it can be problematic for humans and non-humans alike. Often, stopping to let a group of waddling little creatures can cause annoying delays in commutes and travel (try explaining to a goose that you’re late for work). Gleason explains that most people stop because they don’t want to see an animal get hurt or injured. Had the construction crew working on the busy road that stretches across Davis County not been able to provide a helping hand, chances are that the duck family never would have made it to the other side.

Gleason explains that while this particular crew may have had a gruff look about them, this gesture towards the ducks showed that they are all truly gentle in nature.

“They’re construction folks, you know, they do a tough job, but they have big hearts,” and this was something that they thought that they could help with. They wanted to step in and do that so that everyone — animals and people — are safe,” Gleason says.

Getting ducks in the transportation crate which was a small pet kennel that one of the workers had brought from home was a cinch, according to Gleason. Upon arrival at a nearby retention pond in Kaysville, the family also had no issues with acclimating to their new home.

Living in symbiotic harmony with animals can be a challenge at times for humans. Animals that unexpectedly step out onto the road can force drivers to quickly decide between slamming on the brakes and potentially causing a crash, or hitting the animal, which many would avoid at all costs.

It can also be difficult if the animals make it across the road.

A South Jordan firefighter rescues a family of ducklings while the mother duck supervises. (Courtesy of South Jordan Fire Department)

When animals, especially birds, find themselves in a precarious spot by getting stuck in a storm drain, it can be a dangerous position for those looking to help. Officials from the South Jordan Fire Department told ABC4 in April that they typically respond to three or four ‘duck rescues’ a week during the spring. Doing so is an important service because if an untrained or unequipped person attempts to enter a drain and remove the ducks themselves, they could fall victim to poor oxygen inhalation, asphyxiation, or death.

Getting ducks across the road, however, isn’t a call that firefighters typically respond to, thus making the act of kindness by the road crew even more touching. For a bunch of tough guys doing a hard job, it was a sweet way to make the area safer for both animals and the folks behind the wheel, says Gleason.

“I think it was for everyone’s best interest, the mother duck and the ducklings, and of course the drivers on the road.”

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