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Unusual animal rescues in Gloucestershire revealed

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

Alice Aldridge with her chinchilla Deebo

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WE'VE all heard of fire crews being called out to rescue a cat up a tree.

But Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has been called into action over some rather more unusual friends this year.

A buzzard stuck in a mine shaft and a chinchilla caught in a drainpipe are among the animal rescues crews have dealt with in the past 12 months.

Details revealed in a Freedom of Information request show the service received a total of 112 calls to animal rescues.

Whether it be a duck stuck in a chimney, a pigeon trapped on an aerial or a swan that found it couldn't get off a rooftop, the faithful fire crews have been on hand.

They've also helped a poor squirrel that couldn't get back down a telegraph pole and a seagull caught in netting.

But it's not just smaller creatures that have needed a helping hand.

Sixteen horses required the attention of fire crews, among them three caught in railings and six stuck in a ditch.

Seven cows couldn't get out of water, two were stuck in mud, two trapped in fences and one was in 'distress'.

Nine sheep and eight deer also had their bacon saved.

Eight birds found themselves stuck in walls and chimneys and one bullock was in water.

A fire service spokesman said: "The rule is that if a call comes in about a trapped animal, we will respond, whether it's a bird caught in netting or a cow stuck in mud.

"When it comes to cats stuck up trees, we don't attend unless our services are called upon by the RSPCA."

While 17 cats found themselves stuck up trees or behind walls, it was actually man's best friend – dogs – that resulted in the greatest number of call outs at 26 in the year.

Five couldn't get out of water and one puppy was stuck in a bike chain.

On December 10, 100 turkeys were rescued from a barn fire at Home Farm in Mitcheldean.

But their reprieve was only temporary, as four days later the flock was slaughtered ready for the Christmas dinner plate.

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