A DUCKLING was rescued from a manhole after it was abandoned by its mother.

The bird was found chirping with fear after it had become stuck in a drain at the Tesco supermarket in Padiham.

Its mother, along with its 10 brothers and sisters, were seen in the car park by shoppers and were moved to the safety of the River Calder.

When the birds were moved over and a final count was done - one duckling was missing.

Shopper Jess Woodcock heard the lost bird from below a manhole cover and the fire service was called.

Laura Herdman, crew manager at Padiham Fire Station, said firefighters managed to free the little bird and took it back to the station.

She said: “We rescued the bird and tried to give it back to its mother, but other birds started attacking it and we realised it had been abandoned by its mother.

“We couldn’t just let it go out into the wild as it would die.

“It mustn’t be very old as it couldn’t swim on the surface very well.”

The firefighters decided to call it Tessie, after the supermarket where it was found.

Ms Herdman said: “The poor thing has had food and water and seems to be doing okay.

“I’ve spoken to Oakmount Veterinary Centre in Burnley and staff said they can take the bird on and find it a new home. Although I am considering keeping it myself.

“We managed to flush the bird further down the pipe to a place where we could get it out safely.”

Ms Woodcock, a health care worker, said: “When we realised there was one missing we all started looking for it and I just heard little chirps by the manhole cover.

“In all I was there for around three hours from when we first saw the birds to freeing the trapped duckling. I’m pleased it’s safe now and in good hands.”