Specialist fire crews were called to the Boldon Flats Nature Reserve, om East Boldon, just before lunchtime on Tuesday, July 12 after receiving a report that a distressed calf was stuck up to its neck in mud.
Firefighters from Hebburn, Rainton Bridge and South Shields Community Fire Stations attended the rescue operation.
A local vet sedated the calf before firefighters used an inflatable raft to enable them to use specialist equipment to try and loosen the mud around the calf to help lift the animal.
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Equipment used to free the cow included a mud lance and animal lifting strops as well as a forklift truck provided by his worried farmer.
After two-and-a-half-hours the calf was freed from the mud before being checked over by the vet for any long-term injuries.
Andrew Blower, Risk & Resilience Manager at TWFRS, said: “What an amazing effort from our crews and fire control team to ensure a happy ending to this difficult animal rescue.
“When we got to the scene at Boldon Flats Nature Reserve we had to assess everything around us from the welfare of the animal through to the weather conditions and overall surrounding environment.
“We had to use our knowledge and expertise to try and free the calf without disturbing the mud too much and endangering the animal further.
“It was rewarding to be able to get the calf back to its relieved owner’s just in time for its afternoon snack!”