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Do-Gooder Saves Unlucky Duck That Was in Deep

March 31, 1998

He may not be Superman, but Jake Sharp's arm of steel came to the rescue for a 2-week-old duckling trapped for 12 hours in a drainage pipe.

After a variety of gadgets and traps failed, Sharp held his arm in the pipe for 90 minutes until he was able to scoop up the duckling, which emerged hungry and cold but unharmed.

Jake and Ashley Sharp were awakened at 6:30 a.m. Friday by the quacking of a mother duck, who lost her child down a 2-foot-deep, L-shaped overflow pipe in a man-made pond at the Streams Apartment complex in Fullerton.

Animal control and apartment maintenance crews spent hours Friday attempting to lure the duckling out of the pipe. Jake Sharp, 25, who spent his lunch break by the pipe, said he came home from work that night and decided something had to be done if the duckling was to survive.

"When I got home from work I changed my clothes and decided it was do or die time," said Sharp, a sales representative for a steel company. "My wife was very concerned, so I stuck my arm down the pipe, held my hand over the other opening and just waited."

Finally, Sharp, his arm sore from the wait, reached the duckling, scooping it up and bringing it home for a warm bath and a meal of moistened cat food and bread.

The couple released the duckling back to the pond Saturday morning. After some confusion, and a pecking on the head from another mallard, the duckling found its mother and siblings and paddled off.

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