The four-hour rescue mission to save lamb stuck in drainpipe after falling down manhole

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It was a happy ending for one little lamb who has been safely reunited with it’s mother after falling down a manhole and getting stuck 15 metres into a drainpipe.

Rescuers sprung into action after receiving reports that a lamb had got stuck down a drainpipe in a field off Thornley Road, near Trimdon Colliery in Durham.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service were called out to help the lamb on Sunday, May 3 after a local farmer heard bleating coming from inside a drain.

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He went to investigate after spotting the lamb’s mother “looking lost” by a broken manhole cover, which had been filled with tyres and wood.

The lambs mother was keeping a close eye nearby.The lambs mother was keeping a close eye nearby.
The lambs mother was keeping a close eye nearby. | Other 3rd Party

The fire and rescue crew contacted the RSPCA to help them retrieve the lamb and a four-hour-rescue mission was launched.

RSPCA animal collection officer Emily Welch, said: “There was a broken manhole cover on the farmland which had been filled with tyres and wood. Somehow, the lamb had managed to get himself between this and had fallen down the manhole shaft and into the narrow drainage pipe two feet below.

“There was no way of reaching the little lamb in the pipe as it was too narrow so we had to dig down to him.”

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The rescue crew had to dig four separate holes in the pipe before they could locate the lamb – around 15 metres into the pipe.

RSPCA animal collection officer Emily Welch was called to help rescue the lamb.RSPCA animal collection officer Emily Welch was called to help rescue the lamb.
RSPCA animal collection officer Emily Welch was called to help rescue the lamb. | Other 3rd Party
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“Thankfully the farmer’s friend brought his digger and we started digging,” continued Emily.

“We ended up having to dig four separate holes to different sections of the pipe before we could locate him and free him.”

Luckily the lamb escaped without injury and was cleaned up and returned to the safety of his mum.

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Reunited and back in the safety of its mother.Reunited and back in the safety of its mother.
Reunited and back in the safety of its mother. | Other 3rd Party

“He was very cold, a little shaken and quite stiff after his ordeal but, thankfully, he wasn’t injured, so we cleaned him up and returned him to his mum who had been waiting nearby and keeping a very close eye on us,” Emily added.

“It was lovely to see him bounding off towards his mum and snuggling up to her for some milk. What a rescue mission.”

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Rescuers had to dig four holes to locate the lamb.Rescuers had to dig four holes to locate the lamb.
Rescuers had to dig four holes to locate the lamb. | Other 3rd Party

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