North Mackay senior firefighter Shane Clarke with firefighter Ben Hungerford. Picture: Contributed
North Mackay senior firefighter Shane Clarke with firefighter Ben Hungerford. Picture: Contributed

Mackay firefighters perform rescue of the adorable kind

Mackay firefighters responded to an emergency of the adorable kind when they jumped into a drain to rescue a baby plover.

North Mackay firefighter Ben Hungerford said the RSPCA asked for their help to save a chick, which was stuck in a drain below Petrea Court in Andergrove on Friday morning.

He said he jumped into the drain with senior firefighter Shane Clarke to "try and fish the bird out".

"We washed a little bit of water down gently and washed the chick from one side to the other into a net we set up thanks to the RSPCA," Mr Hungerford said.

He said they then cleaned and towel-dried the chick before taking it back to its parents, taking care to approach with caution so they were not attacked.

Mackay firefighters helped rescue a baby plover in Andergrove after it found itself stuck in a drain. Picture: Contributed
Mackay firefighters helped rescue a baby plover in Andergrove after it found itself stuck in a drain. Picture: Contributed

"All was a happy ending," Mr Hungerford said.

He explained they were commonly called to help with animal rescues, having specialist equipment such as tools to remove the plugs from the top of storm drains.

"It's not every day but you get a few," he said.

"Usually they're cats in trees, family animals in trees and whatnot. Nothing too crazy unfortunately.

"We're always happy to go down and try and rescue some animals.

"It's better than people being in danger from fire and car accidents."

Baby plover and mum. Picture: Simone Shelton
Baby plover and mum. Picture: Simone Shelton

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RSPCA Mackay inspector Emma Abbott said when the chick was returned its mother's clutches, she sat on it straight away.

"It was tiny, it was barely hatched out of the nest maybe three inches high, all fluffy," Ms Abbott said.

She said it was lucky they were coming to the end of the nesting season after a busy period of rescues.

"I'd dare say mum or dad was just wondering around when it's fallen down the drain," Ms Abbott said.

"If a member of the public has any concerns, they just need to ring 1300 ANIMAL."

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