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Stuck duck rescued from 40-foot high netting in Richmond park

Richmond's animal control, firefighters and parks staff joined forces to save the distressed mallard.

A duck trapped in baseball netting 40 feet off the ground was rescued from Minoru Park thanks to the teamwork from city workers. 

"I guess it had just flown into the netting and it was stuck. It looked like it was hanging by its neck and its feet were able to hold on to the netting to support itself enough," said animal control officer Teagan McGuire.

A community member who spotted the distressed duck near the baseball diamond left a voicemail with the Richmond Animal Shelter shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and McGuire immediately went to assess the situation. 

"I got there, I walked around a bit, and I found it. And I realized the duck was about 40 feet off the ground... And I knew that I wasn't going to be able to get it down myself," McGuire told the Richmond News.

"It was still for the most part and occasionally would begin flapping its wings. So we knew that it was still healthy and alive up there. So that made it all the more serious to try and get it down as quickly as possible."

Taking matters into her own hand, McGuire drove to the Brighouse Fire Hall and rang the doorbell.

With fire crews and their ladder truck in tow, McGuire returned to Minoru Park. But when they realized the truck was too heavy for the concrete, they called in reinforcements from the city's parks department, which happened to have a lift truck available.

A volunteer was handed a net and some towels and was on his way up to the duck. But just before he reached the duck, which McGuire suspected was spooked by the noise coming from the truck, it managed to wiggle itself free and flew to the ground.

"A firefighter and I went over and we scooped the duck up and we got it contained," said McGuire.

The rescue mission took about two hours and the duck was sent to the Richmond Animal Shelter. 

A volunteer from the Wildlife Rescue collected it for further assessment, and the duck was released earlier today with only minor bruising.

McGuire told the News it was "amazing" to see "everyone come together" for the duck.

"It's funny. To some people that seems like such a small thing — just a duck being stuck and the amount of resources that were needed to get it down was great," she said.

"And it's good to know that there's other departments that we can rely on and call and all work together towards the same outcome.

"I wasn't sure if (they) would have the time for me or the resources to help, or if they would laugh it off. But they all took it very seriously."

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