Ducklings trying to cross freeway rescued

HOUSTON - Volunteers at the Wildlife Center of Texas are caring for 11 ducklings that were rescued from the Sam Houston Tollway on Thursday.

Hunter Cox, the owner of HC Investigations, captured the daring rescue on a handheld video camera. He and several other drivers stopped on Beltway 8 near Highway 290 Thursday morning in order to round up all of the baby ducks.

Cox said the ducklings' mother was killed along the Beltway and the 11 siblings were scrambling to make it across the northbound lanes.

"More than likely what happened is mom and dad built a nest in a tree next to the freeway and when they came down from the tree, mom and dad needed to move their babies. Now they're stuck on the freeway," said Debbie Mitchell, the operations manager for Wildlife Center of Texas.

Mitchell said 10 of the ducklings were taken to the center Thursday and another was brought Friday morning. It was found in one of the rescuer's vehicles after it apparently hopped out of a box.

Mitchell said the ducklings came to the center stressed but are otherwise OK. She anticipates they'll remain at the shelter for several months before they are able to return to the wild.

"We've got them in a quiet, warm place. We raise hundreds of these little guys a year. They have a great chance of making it," said Mitchell.

She says rather than put themselves in harm's way, people who see injured or orphaned wildlife can contact the Wildlife Center of Texas or the SPCA. The number to the Wildlife Center of Texas is 713-861-9453.

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