Ottawa firefighters were handed a unique test of their water rescue skills Tuesday morning when a duck was discovered frozen in the ice of the Rideau River.

Someone living near Strathcona Park in Sandy Hill called the fire department around 9:25 a.m. to report a duck trapped in the ice near the riverbank.

Firefighters used pike poles attached with — what else? — duct tape to break the ice trapping the female Goldeneye, freeing it to return to open water.

In a news release, spokesperson Danielle Cardinal reminded other helpful humans to wait for firefighters to respond to calls of animals in distress, rather than put themselves in danger by attempting rescues themselves.