Duck Stuck in Plastic Six-Pack Rings Prompts Neighborly Rescue Effort in Chicago River - NBC Chicago

Duck Stuck in Plastic Six-Pack Rings Prompts Neighborly Rescue Effort in Chicago River



    Community Bands Together to Rescue Duck

    A neighborhood is coming together to try to save a duck's life as he struggles with a plastic six-pack holder stuck around his neck. NBC 5's Lauren Petty has the story. 

    (Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019)

    A neighborhood effort is underway along the north branch of the Chicago River to rescue a duck.

    The unlucky duck somehow ended up with a plastic six-pack holder around his neck. Neighbors and rescue groups have been trying for days to free him.

    "It's very heartbreaking to see," Tess Smith-Meseth, who is helping with the rescue, told NBC 5. "It's around him like a gag. So people think it's around his head or around his neck. It's through his mouth and then around his head like someone put a gag on him."

    A neighbor first noticed the duck one week ago and posted about it on social media asking how to help.

    Animal-lover Smith-Meseth is one of the many who answered the call.

    “Most people are like 'it’s a duck how hard can this be,'" she said of the rescue effort. "But it’s pretty hard."

    Every day, for five days, she’s tried to lure the duck to the shore of the Chicago River near Horner Park.

    Chicago firefighters have also stopped by to help. Others have shown up wearing waders and carrying nets.

    Amanda Onion is also helping with rescue.

    "It’s a human problem, like, we did it," she said of the duck's predicament. "So I feel like it’s our obligation to undo it."

    Andrea Knepper is another volunteer.

    "He doesn’t know we’re trying to help and I find myself talking to he duck saying 'hey, it’s okay buddy, we’re just trying to help,'" she said. "'We can get that thing off you.'"

    An animal rescue group -- Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation -- has sent volunteers three different times to no avail but no one is giving up.

    “He’s going to starve he can’t eat anything besides bread," Onion said.

    Those NBC 5 talked to hope the image of the stuck duck is a reminder to cut up these plastic pop-holders before throwing them away.

    "It’s up to us to cut them," Knepper said. "It’s up to us to not have them going out into nature and it’s up to manufacturers to not be making them in the first place."

    The Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center isn’t giving up.

    One of the volunteers said they don't want neighbors to try and remove the six-pack holder on their own because she thinks they could cause more damage to the duck.

    Trained rescuers should do that, she said.

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