TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — An Orland Hills man is a hero to the lunchtime crowd at a Tinley Park deli, after he reunited a mother duck with her eight wayward ducklings.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, Kurt Heersema, 24, was leaving the deli at lunchtime when he saw an alarming sight.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

“I came back out and noticed that a mother duck was circling a sewer drain and just kept making noise and kept making noise,” he said, “and I noticed there were some ducklings down there.”

Eight ducklings were six feet down in the manhole.

So Heersema went back to his work to get some tools.

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“It was about six feet deep into the manhole, so I climbed in there. I had a bucket; took a couple ducks out at a time, got them all out,” he said. “There were eight of them total in there.”

The hardest part?

“It was trying to keep my balance and not fall into the water in the sewer, because it was kind of nasty,” he said.

Heersema did not fall, and he says the ducklings were reunited with their mother – and they all crossed 159th Street uneventfully.

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Heersema says he does hunt on the side, but he was a Boy Scout and remains an animal lover.