THIS fortunate duck narrowly avoided a visit to the quack after rangers at a town park swooped in to rescue him from on a frozen pond.

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Noel, the hapless fowl, had a lucky escape after he got stuck to the ice on the largest pond in Holywells Park. His flapping mishap was reported to park rangers as darkness fell on Wednesday night but a rescue could not be mounted until first light yesterday.

Ipswich Borough Council ranger Joe Underwood explained: “We could not go on to the ice in the dark as that would have been very dangerous but we went back early the next day and got a boat out to reach him.

“The ice was about three inches thick and the duck was stuck to it by its bottom. It took about an hour to get to him through the ice but we are glad we made it.”

Apprentice ranger Catherine Godbold said the rangers had named the drake Noel.

She said: “Joe, Ed [Boyle – another ranger] and I took Noel back to our stable block offices and kept him warm. He was a little dehydrated but none the worse for his adventure.”

Temperatures plummeted this week and rangers are warning people to take extra care around water – and ice on the ponds.

Joe said: “We urge people to keep their dogs on a lead near any pond in these conditions and if their pets do get into trouble to contact us and not mount a rescue attempt themselves.

“The same applies if they see any animal or bird stuck. Ice on ponds can be very dangerous and we don’t want a tragedy to happen.”

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