LUBBOCK, Texas (KSBD) – Two West Texas ducklings are living peacefully with their mother after some Texas Tech vet students jumped into action to save them from the storm.
They got some real-world experience last week through a rescue in Amarillo, near the new Texas Tech University veterinary campus.
Fourth-year doctoral student Savannah Everhart said she and her classmate, first-year doctoral student Milad Khairvari, were driving home from class when they saw the ducks crossing the road and came to their aid. Second-year PhD student Sarabeth Bogan saw her classmates standing on the side of the road and decided to stop.
Everhart said a momma mallard was crossing the road pulling her ducklings when she drove by, causing the two to fall.
The students knew they didn’t have the right equipment to rescue them, so they called the Wild West Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for help. Bogan is working on a research project with the organization. Founder Stephanie Diaz said the students were relentless in making sure the ducks got out safely.
“There is no way they can get out. It was 101 degrees. It is not very hot for the ducks, because they were down below and it was very cold, but the students refused to go. They were like no, we’ve got to get them, we’ve got to get them out,” Diaz said.
The team began to search for the exact location of the ducks in the drain.
“Maybe we look like nutcases looking down at our phones on the sidewalk trying to figure out where the ducks are,” Bogan said.
When they find the ducks, it’s time for someone to go to the rescue. Everhart, the youngest of the group, threw on her covers and prepared to dive.
“I have a little arachnophobia, so I was a little scared of finding spiders down there. But, I mean, we’ve reviewed it without, like, a weird smell or anything. It’s actually relatively clean,” Everhart said.
“But she didn’t hesitate to tell the truth. She was only thinking about the ducks,” Khairvari said.
After pulling them out of the storm, the students reunited the ducklings with their mother in nearby brush.
“You put the two ducklings down and you know they’re gone in the brush very quickly. But then all of a sudden, you hear, quack, quack, quack. As the mother says, ‘Where have you been? I was so worried about you.’ It was great to hear my mom get so excited watching her ducks go through the bushes,” Diaz said.
Although they have different interests in their fields, they are all sure of their love for animals.
“I grew up on a farm. I have always loved animals. I wouldn’t be in this field if I didn’t love them,” Everhart said.
“For me, I’m really on the right line of work,” Bogan said, reaffirming it.
“It gave me a really good feeling, to be honest. It’s their life, it doesn’t matter if it’s hot, or I think it took an hour or two, but I think their life is important.
Diaz said her center covers the entire Texas Panhandle, so she was honored to pass the torch this time.
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