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Baby ducks rescued in Holtsville, East Patchogue

Suffolk County police rescued eight ducklings from a storm drain in Holstville. (June 26, 2013)

For Suffolk County Emergency Service Unit police officers Lance Prager and Michael Coscia, it was like "Groundhog Day," only with a fowl flair.

Less than 24 hours after they rescued eight ducklings from a storm drain in East Patchogue on Tuesday afternoon, the duo were called to Holtsville before noon today for the same reason -- another eight ducklings stuck in another storm drain.

On both occasions, the panicking and quacking of the mother ducks who were separated from their hatchlings alerted passersby, who called the police, Prager said. In Holtsville, the ducklings were rescued, with assistance from sixth precinct officers, from a drain on Morris Avenue; in East Patchogue, they were found in a drain near the Lowe’s Home Improvement on Montauk Highway.

He said all of the rescued ducklings were alive and well Wednesday and had been reunited with their mothers.

Prager said that rescuing ducklings from storm drains is an annual occurrence for police.

“When the days start getting warmer and the hatchlings come out, this tends to happen,” he said.

He also called it a welcome change to his normal routine.

“Being a police officer, you have to deal with human tragedy on an almost daily basis,” he said. “When this happens, when you can get the ducklings back with their mothers, it’s really nice.”

Still, he joked that ducklings should have a little more common sense. “You’d think after the first two go down the drain, the next couple of ducklings would slow down.”

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