Rubber ducks escape barrier after river race

13,000 ducks were poured into the Assiniboine River Saturday for a fundraiser race. But the ducks weren't easy to recapture at the finish line.

The Great Manitoba Duck Race continued past the finish line

Rubber Duck Race 0:59

A river race between 13,000 rubber ducks continued long past the finish line Saturday.

A crane dropped the thousands of ducks into the Assiniboine River Saturday in the fundraiser for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. Money raised from the event was set for redevelopment at the Assiniboine Park & Zoo.

High winds and strong currents nearly held up the race, but eventually the ducks were poured into the water and sent on their journey.

Unfortunately for organizers, the ducks didn't know when to quit racing.

A look at some of the ducks from the footbridge over the Assiniboine River leading to the park. (Courtesy Grant Gilbert)

Not all of the wayward rubber ducks were nabbed out of the water afterward. More than half of the toy competitors made it past netted barriers. City of Winnipeg staff and organizers launched boats to try to catch the extra critters in the water. Some workers also used fishing nets to gather beached ducks, because many of them littered the shores of the Assiniboine River long after the race. CBC cameras even caught a few rogue ducks that made their way into the Red River later in the day.

Organizers say that if anyone finds a stray rubber duck, they can return it to the Assiniboine Park Pavillion.  

The event netted nearly $60,000. Most of the money raised is slated for the new Journey to Churchill exhibit at the zoo.