TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- It was the Arizona Humane Society to the rescue after a duck found itself tangled up in a fishing line and some driftwood in a pond at a Tempe park. A park employee called the Humane Society (AHS) to tell them about the stuck duck. When AHS crews arrived, they realized they couldn't get out to the middle of the pond to get to the duck.
[VIDEO: Stuck duck rescued from Tempe pond]
They realized they would have to wait to take a "quack" at the rescue until the next day when they could get their hands on an inflatable rubber raft.
"We blew that up, and I was able to get out to where the duck was," said Mark Smith from AHS. As soon as he reached the duck, however, the duck broke free from the driftwood. But it was still choking on the fishing line, and a fishing lure at the end of the line was caught in its throat.
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Smith said it took a good hour to catch the duck and scoop it up in a net. He took the injured bird to Liberty Wildlife, where vets immediately rushed it into surgery to remove the lure. It then took about a month for the duck to heal and recover well enough to be released back into the same pond.
Smith got the be there for the big day and said it was a special thing to witness the lucky duck rejoin its feathered friends. "A lot of times, we just drop these animals off after we rescue them, and we don't get to be part of the outcome," Smith said. "Being able to meet Liberty Wildlife out there, and to see that duck that I held that was all injured and see that he was healthy and be able to watch him jump back into the lake and be happy... I'm sure he didn't think he was going back. It was a pretty great experience for me."
"Mr. Duck is just one of more than 4,000 sick and injured animals who were rescued by AHS' EAMTs last year," said Bretta Nelson with the Arizona Humane Society. "AHS' fleet of seven ambulances hit the road 365 days a year covering more than 300,000 miles. In addition, AHS' Animal Cruelty Investigators assisted law enforcement on more than 7,700 suspected cases of animal cruelty."
To learn more about AHS' Rescue Services and Cruelty Investigations, visit azhumane.org .