It was a draining day for 12 ducklings who fell into a storm sewer in San Mateo last week, but Humane Society and San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department workers rescued them and reunited them with their mother.

When a resident saw the distraught mother duck pacing near a storm drain on Saratoga Drive and heard the cries of the ducklings trapped under the steel grate the afternoon of June 14, she called the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

“The Fire Department removed the storm grate and our staff were able to safely net all of the ducklings, bringing them to safety,” said PHS/SPCA spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox.

None the worse for their ordeal, a reunited family of ducklings heads on its way after being rescued from a storm drain on Saratoga Drive in San Mateo. (Courtesy Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

While the rescue was taking place, the anxious mother duck supervised the operation, keeping a close eye on her brood, Tarbox said.

“Throughout the entire process, the mother duck stayed nearby. Once we had all 12 of the ducklings above ground, we checked them for injuries, and thankfully they were fine despite their ordeal,” the spokeswoman said.