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Popcorn Park Works w/Community - Saves Ducks



 CONTACT: John Bergmann, General Manager
May 10, 2010

AHS/Popcorn Park Works with Community to Save Ducklings – Twice!

WARETOWN, NJ – The residents of Greenbriar Oceanaire, and the public servants of this town certainly seem to have their ducks in a row.

Twice within a week, observant Greenbriar residents stepped up when they saw ducklings separated from their mothers, and fall into storm drains, by contacting Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park and local officials who teamed up to save the babies both times.

“It’s quite uncanny that both incidents happened, not only in the same town, but the same community within a week of each other,” said AHS/Popcorn Park General Manager John Bergmann. “In a world where too often we hear “It’s not my job,” and people a blind eye to things like this, it is heartening to see residents and Waretown public servants go above and beyond what is expected to save the lives of some 21 ducklings.”

The first incident happened on Monday, April 26, when Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park had received a call in the early evening hours from a Sea Girt Avenue resident who saw eight baby ducks fall down a storm drain. AHS animal control officers immediately went to the scene, but could not open the storm drains to save the ducks. At the scene, they contacted police dispatcher Nicole Alessi who made numerous calls to find someone to open the drains, when she finally contacted Brian Hansen of the township’s Road Department. He met arrived at the scene, made the sewer system accessible by prying open some six or seven drain covers.

“This arduous task took us about 90 minutes from about 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Mr. Hansen was actively involved in the rescue from start to finish,” Bergmann said. “We safely retrieved all of the ducklings, who were returned to their mother, healthy and no worse for the wear. I doubt if we could have rescued all of the babies were it not for Mr. Hansen’s assistance and Ms. Alessi’s speedy notifications. Their actions helped save 17 lives.”

The second rescue happened on Strathmere Lane on May 1. Again, residents witnessed four ducklings fall into the storm drain. They called police who contacted both the Waretown Volunteer Fire Company and Maria Cymanski, AHS’s animal control officer, who was on the road at the time.

“I was Just minutes away from the scene when I got the call, and when I arrived I was met by the members of the Waretown Volunteer Fire Company Truck #3601, who had already taken action, opening the storm drains, retrieving the ducklings and safely keeping them,” Ms. Cymanski said.

After safely gathering the ducks, Ms. Cymanski searched for their mother, but could not find them. The four were then transferred to a Toms River rehabilitator where they are currently being cared for before they are released into the wild.

“This is definitely a community and a town that really cares,” she said.


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