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Why did the ducks cross the road?

NFD helps rescue baby ducks from storm drain

The Newton Fire Department responded to a non-emergency call about baby wood ducks trapped in a storm drain in the 700 block of North Third Avenue around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Toni Peska, a realtor at Heartland Realty in Newton, had discovered the ducklings were trapped outside of her office.

“We did go over and help them retrieve them out of the storm sewer,” Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik said.

According to Peska, employees with Thombert, Inc. were outside having their coffee break when they noticed three baby ducks walking across the street. When some of the realtors herded the ducklings out of the street, they discovered more trapped in the storm drain.

“(The fire department) had to go over on Seventh Street, go down in the storm sewer and they kind of herded them toward the other storm sewer grate,” Peska said.

After the ducks were all safely retrieved, they got to go home with Peska who does a little wildlife rehabilitation.

“We’ve got them and they are doing well ... Then they will eventually be, of course, returned to the wild,” Peska said.

Peska told the Newton Daily News over the years she has had a multitude of animals such as raccoons and opossums. She has also cared for critters like woodchucks and rabbits.

“The number one thing is if people find animals in the wild, if they aren’t in harm’s way, the best rule of thumb is to leave them where they are at,” Peska said.

This year has been an unusual one so far for the fire department as they have also responded to a call for cooling off hogs inside of a broken down trailer on Highway 14.

“What it turns into is we are the department that takes care of things that there are no other departments to take care of,” Wellik said.

Peska added, “The number one part of this whole story is that the Newton Fire Department did an awesome job.”

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or

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