A wild "duckmergency" unfolded in Park Slope last night, sending responding NYPD officers on an under-the-street expedition to recover three baby waterfowl who fell through a storm grate. All the birds are now safe, but according to tipster Lynn Harris, this "massive duck drama" was, to put it mildly, "TENSE."

Harris spotted the duck squad—a mother duck trailing nine ducklings—waddling up 6th Street around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. She told Gothamist that "a nice quartet of young people" had escorted them on their march from 5th to 7th Avenue, and others gathered to help direct traffic. When she spotted a dog, though, duck mom apparently spooked and crossed 6th—that's when three of her kids dropped through the grate, right outside of the New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Emergency Room.

(Photos by Lynn Harris/Gothamist)

The clutch of onlookers who had gathered at the corner corralled mama duck and the six other babies into a box, and police then showed up to assess the situation. But as Harris's husband ran home to grab a crowbar with which to wrench open the grate, an expert wandered into their midst: Animal rescuer Sean Casey, a licensed Assistant Wildlife Rehabilitator and shelter operator. Casey just so happened to be visiting someone in the hospital, "BECAUSE NEW YORK," Harris explained, and served as the duck director for the big rescue.

That rescue, according to Harris, "took a VILLAGE to complete."

"People brought boxes for the babies and mama; we donated a tote bag for the ducklings to sit in inside the box," which had holes, Harris explained. "The hospital staff was calling around to see who there could help in some way." The first round of NYPD officers reportedly called in two SWAT cops to open the grate. When they arrived, they pried it open with sledgehammers and J-hooks—only to have the metal cover tumble into the hole.

"Everyone literally SCREAMED and it was then totally silent while a cop jumped in and—tick tock tick tock—came back up with ONE TINY DUCK!!!!!!!" A nurse, who had been "afraid to look" into the chasm after the grate fell in, "peeked down" to see what had happened to the other ducks. When she shouted, "THEY'RE ALIVE," Harris recounted, "everyone screamed again, but happy." The cops scooped the remaining ducklings out of the drain, yet despite the wave of unbridled joy, Harris and her son "almost fainted from the stress."

Casey collected the quackers and brought them to his shelter, where a vet can examine them before they return to the wild—which ideally means Prospect Park, and not the storm grate-riddled streets of Brooklyn. All's well that ends well, and now, if you spot ducks stranded in the sewer, you know who to call: SWAT cops.