In a world of chaos, discord, and debate, saving animals from precarious situations make even the most hardened of hearts feel a tinge of sentimentality.
Recent weeks have seen an uptick of news stories focused on animals being rescued from danger, specifically sewer and drain-pipe rescues that draw a connection to the work we do. Our sewer crews are dedicated to protecting water quality, but when related duties call, our men and women are ready to respond.
Below are some of our favorite recent rescues, including two of our own from years past.
Manatee pulled from a drain pipe near Jacksonville, Florida
Just shy of 1,000 pounds, the adult manatee shown above had been stuck for hours before being spotted by a city worker making road repairs. He was rescued and was recovering at Sea World in Orlando.
Two bald eagles unstuck from a street sewer grate in Orlando, Florida
This odd and bittersweet rescue tale generated quite a following in November. Two bald eagles found themselves trapped in a street sewer grate and maintenance crews labored to free them both. Thankfully, one recovered and flew away but the other died from injuries sustained in the ordeal.
A Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District maintenance crew was maintaining a pump station near a creek when the two-foot-long gator in the water caught their attention. Nearly frozen in the November cold, the crew rescued him and kept him warm until representatives from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo could assist. The alligator is now living happily in Florida.
53-pound snapping turtle pulled from a drain pipe near Hockley, Texas
This behemoth is a threatened species of turtles in Texas, so finding and rescuing him from his entrapment in a Hockley development drain pipe was big news.
Puppy freed from a basement drain in Cleveland, Ohio
When this little guy fell into a drain pipe in a Cleveland home, he wriggled himself into more trouble trying to escape. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District had a crew in the area who was able to respond, access the pipe where Roscoe was, and pull him to safety.
As part of a Regional Stormwater Management Program effort, we plan to dredge Green Lake in Shaker Heights to remove 25,000 cubic yards of sediment. Working with local volunteers and Herps Alive!, the Sewer District helped relocate more than two dozen Green Lake turtles—including babies and a 40-pound snapper—that would have been lost otherwise. The native species will be returned once dredging is complete.
Stuck fox freed from sewer grate in Grafton, Massachusetts
A red fox got his head stuck in a sewer grate. Workers were able to lift the grate and free the fox without injury to either party.