Lucky Ducks Get Saved When Their Mothers Leave Them Helpless And Alone

When you’re a mother, you’ve got to be prepared for anything — sick kids in your car, a kid-backed coup to have pizza for dinner, or a call from the principal’s office about junior’s behavior. And when you’re a mother of five like Mindy Bingham, the odds of a day-changing curveball only goes up.

Because of her online presence, Mindy had cameras trained on her just about every minute of the day. Good thing, too, because when the prepared-for-anything mother heard a strange sound while filming, we got to see how she saved the day in a truly unconventional way…

Mindy Bingham is a homemaker and a mom of 5 children, living in Utah. She’s always had a kind and caring heart, but after raising 5 kids, she has truly realized how precious life is.

Mindy and her family are fairly internet-famous for capturing and sharing their everyday adventures on “ThisIsHowWeBingham.” They have a blog, Youtube account, Facebook profile, Instagram page, and even an online “swag” store. In April 2017, Mindy was filming her day as usual when she heard something odd.

 

As Mindy was driving her son, Brexsen, through suburbia in her mini-van, she suddenly heard a loud, repetitive peeping noise. It wasn’t her family-friendly-vehicle going off, but rather, it was coming from outside. She called for help.

As soon as she got out of her car to inspect the situation, she noticed an animal scurrying away with four of its babies. It looked like a duck, it quacked like a duck, and it definitely was a mother duck!

Momma Duck had walked over to the storm drain because, apparently, many of her children had fallen into it. This, obviously, was not a situation the ducks could navigate. Luckily, help was on the way.

When that help arrived, they were finally able to get the grate off, but that didn’t solve the problem: the ducks were still out of reach. There was only one thing left to do.

Risking her Ugg boots and leggings, Mindy climbed into the drain (after making sure it wasn’t sewage). Being the homemaker that she is, Mindy had a tool on hand that could help her out.

Whether they were sitting in the backseat of her car or something is unclear, but Mindy grabbed a pair of tongs to try to get the ducklings out. Had she possibly gone daffy?

Tong-efficient, Mindy rooted around in the storm drain, a look of determination on her face. If she couldn’t pluck the ducks from the mud, the chances of anyone being able to do so were slim.

You know what they say, one bird in the hand — or in this case, in between a pair of tongs — is better than two in the bush (or storm drain). Mindy was elated when she pulled five ducklings out of the drain and into the safety of a Tupperware bowl.

This should’ve been cause for celebration. But because ducks tend to have at least a dozen children — and not so many had been tonged out of the drain — Mindy and others knew there were more ducks in other storm drains.

Still fighting for the mother duck, the ragtag rescue team continued their mission. Meanwhile, an audience began to gather, and one of the bystanders took another quack at the duckling rescue mission.

Eventually, all the ducklings were saved and transferred from the Tupperware into a small but deep green basket. It needed no lid; the helpless young ducklings could not escape and stayed safely with their rescuers. Now get the ducks out of here!

The man who came in at the tail end of rescue took over for the best part of the mission: releasing the ducklings back to their mom. Along with his two daughters, they searched the nearby creak looking for the troubled parent.

After several nerve-wracking minutes of searching, they found Momma Duck, and gently let the kids into the water. The Anatidae family was happy to be reunited; the mother finally had her ducks in a row again.

Spotting ducks in trouble was not a skill limited to the Bingham family, however. In Kennewick, Washington, officer Chad McGarry was also ready to ruffle some feathers. As he was driving around on call one day, he suddenly spotted some danger.

A real-life Mallard and her ducklings were trying to cross a busy road to get back to their natural habitat. Officer McGarry, who had serious wildlife police training, knew how to handle out-of-control situations like this one.

The cop car must have scared off this nervous mother, as she suddenly flew across the busy street, abandoning her own feather and blood. The ducklings stayed safe but scared on the sidewalk. “Waddle we do without mom?”

With the assistance of a helpful stranger and a piece of cardboard, Officer McGarry was able to trap the ducklings (who also kept running away from him) between himself and a fence. He then picked most of them up, holding them gently in his strong hands.

He passed a few of the ducklings to the kind stranger, who quickly crossed the road and set them down on the other side. However, a few had escaped the officer’s grip, so he had no choice but to go back and catch ’em all.

After a few moments, all the ducks had crossed the street and returned to the right side of the tracks… except for one. A particularly rebellious duckling, too quick to get caught, was trying to duck and cover from the police. Luckily, McGarry used his training and chased the rebel down the correct path.

At the end of an invigorating 5 minutes, every single duckling had made it to the other side and was back with their mother, free to return to the pond from which they came. Officer McGarry had successfully served and protected these young little birds.

To be fair, being a mother duck must be a pretty tough job — imagine keeping an eye on your twelve children! It is good to know that there are kind people willing to take the time to help these families. There is a very good reason they’re called ‘lucky ducks.’

As the owners of their own humble farm, Ronan and Emma Lally knew quite a bit when it came to taking care of animals. First and foremost, they knew that predators and prey were never to be mixed.

LFC 1892 / YouTube

Unwittingly, the two put this to the test when they decided to bring a few fertilized duck eggs back to their property in Clara, County Offaly, Ireland. Still, they worried that without a mother duck to provide for them, the future hatchlings would be in serious trouble.

Of course, that was easier said than done. One morning, when the couple went to check on the eggs, they discovered that they’d already hatched—but there were only empty shells laying in the barn…

They began to worry that something awful had happened—and that’s when they caught sight of the family cat, Della, suspiciously slinking off. Soon enough, they would realize that there was far more to the story of the missing ducklings.

LFC 1892 / YouTube

“Within seconds of that [not being able to find the ducklings],” Ronan said, “the cat jumped down from a pigeonhole in the shed over there, and I can put one and one together. I just presumed the cat had swallowed up the ducklings.”

For six hours, the two searched their farm to no avail, which only confirmed Ronan’s suspicions. “Ronan thought there was no hope at all,” Emma said. Still, they continued to check every corner just in case they found the baby ducks.

LFC 1892 / YouTube

Miraculously, the couple eventually found the ducklings! Only, the little quackers weren’t safely tucked in a hard-to-see corner of the barn. No, by all appearances, they were in serious trouble of becoming Della’s next meal.

LFC 1892 / YouTube

It turned out that the mighty predator Della was the one who had found the ducklings, and by the looks of it, that wasn’t good news. “The cat had a duck in her mouth at this stage,” Emma said.

EMRO lalster / YouTube

“I was thinking, ‘Oh no,'” Ronan said. “We’re only [just] getting them back, and now she’s going to eat them right in front of us!” And that would not have been out of character for a barn cat. But then Emma noticed something…

LFC 1892 / YouTube

Emma realized that Della wasn’t attacking the duck at all. In fact, she was being quite loving! As a little experiment, Ronan placed a duckling beside Della. That’s when the cat reached out her paw and did something truly remarkable.

“The three little ducklings waddled straight underneath the cat,” Ronan said. “Della laid down on her side, put her paw over one of the ducklings, and was kind of nursing it… it was incredible to see it.”

With the ducks under her wing—er, paw—Della started purring like a race car engine. To her, these ducklings weren’t dinner, but her own babies to love! That was even more impressive considering what Ronan and Emma found next…

LFC 1892 / YouTube

Amazingly, Della had given birth to kittens just hours before she found the ducklings—and that ended up saving the ducks’ lives. “Mothering hormones” were flowing through her, prompting her to treat the ducklings as if they were her own.

While under the “spell” of these hormones, Della followed one rule: if it was tiny, furry, and warm, then it must be her baby. When Ronan and Emma tried to move her to a safer place, they discovered just how far Della was willing to care for the ducks.

Believe it or not, the ducklings were breastfeeding from Della! Usually, ducklings in nature find their own food the moment they’re born. The fact that they were suckling was both strange and an oddly efficient solution to their food search.

Ronan feared that as Della’s hormones dissipated, she would eat the ducks for dinner, but Emma wasn’t so sure. In her day job as a midwife, she’d seen what love between a mother and her newborn looked like, and she saw the same signs with Della and her ducklings.

Della’s story made waves on the Internet, and people seemed to agree that they could see how much love the cat had for her feathered babies. Della made sure that each duckling had a chance to eat; she’d even pull away the food hogs.

EMRO lalster / YouTube

Beyond making sure her babies were fed, this mama cat made sure they had a regular playmate. Della would play gently with the ducks in a way that didn’t show even the smallest hint of aggression.

EMRO lalster / YouTube

Emma and Ronan soon realized that this wasn’t going to be a typical duck and cat relationship. You just wouldn’t see this kind of embrace between two creatures that had anything but love for each other!

Eventually, the ducks grew big—far larger than Della’s kittens—and the mama cat had a hard time controlling and caring for them. But even as growing, independent adults, the ducks couldn’t get enough of their feline mother!

LFC 1892 / YouTube

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