WAYWARD DUCKLINGS....

“I had the pleasure recently of experiencing first-hand the quality of two of the officers in the Anchorage Police Department, and wanted to relay my gratitude and support for your staff.

"On the night of July 1, I was driving along the International Airport Road exit ramp off Minnesota when I spotted a female duck and four ducklings on the side of the road.  Wanting to see them get to safety (I am an avian ecologist) I pulled over and helped two of the ducklings over the concrete barrier separating the road from a nearby wetland.  In the process two other ducklings ran onto a storm water drain and fell down into the storm sewer opening.  At this moment Officer Mark Bakken drove by, saw my plight, and pulled over to help.  I spoke to him about the ducklings that had fallen into the storm sewer, whereupon he called Officer Daily (I realize there are two, and I am not sure which one came to the rescue that night!), who arrived within minutes.  The officers opened the storm drain covering, stuck a ladder down into the storm sewer, and pulled out not two but three ducklings in Officer Bakken’s lunch cooler.  (The additional duckling explains why the mama duck had been staying close to the storm sewer and therefore in the way of traffic.)  I was then able to bring all three ducklings over to the mama duck in the nearby wetland, where she was joyfully reunited with her missing offspring.  It was a happy moment for all.

"I was very impressed by these officers’ willingness to help with such a minor wildlife rescue operation, and their competence at getting the job done with a minimum of effort and time.  I hope this letter results in at least a pat on the back to each officer for making one Anchorage resident an extremely happy customer who now believes that APD staff really are here to make our city a safe and fair place to live for both humans and wildlife alike.

"Thank you very much Officers Bakken and Daily!”

Audrey Taylor
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
University of Alaska, Anchorage