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Tiny ducklings trapped in a sewer rescued with an iPad recording of their mother's quack

Two ducklings who became stuck in a sewer were rescued when quick-thinking workers coaxed them back into daylight - using an iPad recording of their mother's quack.

Two ducklings - similar to this pair - became trapped in the drain Credit: PA

Holidaymakers visiting Burton Bradstock in West Dorset discovered the mother duck frantically quacking near a manhole cover with eight other ducklings - all only a few days old - milling nearby.

With faint sounds also coming from the drain and the mother refusing to leave the area, Mark Hyde and his wife, from Lancashire, called Wessex Water to see what could be done.

Within an hour, sewer technicians Brendan Sutcliffe and Keith Carter were on the scene - and when they could not reach the ducklings themselves, they used their high-tech equipment to record the mother's quacking, lowering the tablet into the drain so the youngsters could hear it properly.

As they ventured near, they were then caught using rather less high-tech bits of kit - a plastic kitchen colander and a badminton racket.

The ducks were returned to a nearby stream (not pictured) Credit: PA

Speaking to local paper the Bridport News, Mr Hyde said:

When the two siblings were reunited with them the excitement was incredible and was actually very touching.

The ducklings were scooped into a cardboard box and taken down to the nearby stream with the mother in tow, before they all swam away.

It was a very happy ending and a great story of people coming together to reunite a lovely little family.

– Mark Hyde, Tourist

The rescue also rounded off a long career for sewer worker Mr Carter, who retired this week after 34 years.

It was a lovely way for him to end his career and he went out on a high.



  1. National

Mankini ban 'helps cut crime' in Newquay

The skinny swimsuits, as worn in the film Borat, are now banned in Newquay. Credit: PA

Newquay's decision to ban mankinis has significantly reduced anti-social behaviour in the town, police and community leaders said.

Officers in the Cornish seaside resort brought in the ban as part of a drive to help shed its "Wild West" image as a haven for stag and hen parties.

And they say their crackdown on excess drinking, public disorder and the wearing of inappropriate clothing, such as mankinis, has helped cut crime in the town.

Inspector Dave Meredith said: "People expected to come to Newquay to drink a lot, behave irresponsibly, a lot of really young people came to Newquay and knew they had a good chance of getting drunk.

"Certainly we have clamped down on that and the image of Newquay now has certainly curtailed some of that."

In 2009 locals joined protest marches to "take back their town" from the grip of anti-social revellers.

Town mayor Dave Sleeman said: "I remember back in the 2000s you couldn't walk the streets on a Saturday without seeing someone wearing a mankini or what have you.

"But now they're not allowed in Newquay. The police will tell them to go home and get changed if they see them wearing one, and the guest houses and camp sites are pretty good at warning their guests about what's acceptable."

Heavy metal hens lay super-sized eggs!

A mother from Cornwall has raised a brood of rock chicks - but these are hens which lay super-sized eggs when they listen to heavy metal!

Anne-Marie Bradshaw, who keeps the hens on an allotment in Newquay, says the eggs have almost doubled in size since she first took a radio into the coop.

The hens even have a favourite track - Ace of Spades by Motorhead.

Our Cornwall correspondent Steve Hardy reports:

Rare West African monkey born in Devon

The baby has yet to be named. Credit: Paignton Zoo

A rare monkey from an endangered species has been born at Paignton Zoo.

The male cherry-crowned mangabey was born in the early hours of last Sunday, and has been seen spending time with his mother Kibibi, father Yengo and brother Kumba.

His species his native to tropical West Africa, where it lives in large groups of up to 25. Cherry-crowned mangabeys are endangered by deforestation and the bushmeat trade, but also live in protected areas, including the Omo Forest Reserve in Nigeria, where Paignton Zoo supports a conservation project.

The baby has spending time with his family. Credit: Paignton Zoo


Toddler gets toilet training seat stuck on his head

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has come to the rescue of a three-year-old boy who got a toilet training seat stuck on his head.

One crew was called out to Richards Close in Exmouth this morning and released the child by cutting through the plastic seat with snippers.

The firefighters said the little boy, who had managed to ram the loo seat down past his ears, was a bit "perturbed" when they got there but was fine as soon as it was removed.

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