A SWAN trapped on a ledge, a cow stuck in a disused quarry and a sheep wedged inside a 16ft-deep crevice are just some of the lucky animals rescued by local firefighters.
Crews from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have helped to save 336 pets, 107 farm animals and 72 wild animals or birds in the past five years, Home Office figures show.
Many were trapped, while some were stuck in water or mud and others had got themselves stuck in trees or in other high places.
A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire’s fire and rescue service said: “Like the vast majority of the public, our staff and firefighters are animal lovers as well and take this part of our role extremely seriously.
“This can also be an extremely hazardous part of our work, particularly when dealing with larger animals, as they can react suddenly in the first few seconds after release.
“It is pleasing to note, though, that the vast majority of incidents we are called to conclude with a successful ending with the owner being reunited with their pets or animals.”
In August last year, firefighters came to the rescue of a swan stuck on a ledge at Newmillerdam in Sandal, Wakefield. The swan could not fly off as the ledge was too small for the required run-up, so a firefighter donned water rescue gear and lifted the swan to freedom.
In July last year, firefighters winched out a calf which had become stuck under rocks in a disused quarry near Holmfirth, Kirklees.
The cow, named Daisy by the rescue crew, had wandered out of its field and fallen down the hole overnight but had been spotted by a dog-walker the next morning.
And in May last year, a sheep managed to wedge itself inside a narrow, five-metre deep crevice between rocks near Todmorden, Calderdale.
Ten firefighters used specialist rope equipment to lower themselves in and free the animal, which was unharmed.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said it was always “very grateful for any help it receives” from firefighters
“Last year the RSPCA was called to collect or rescue 114,584 animals. In situations where RSPCA officers are unable to reach an animal that is trapped or injured, the animal charity can request the help of the fire and rescue service, though it is entirely up to them whether or not they attend.
“Some fire crews use animal rescues for training, but emergencies involving people will always take priority.
“In some cases, crews attend to minimise the risk of members of the public attempting to carry out rescues themselves and potentially putting themselves in danger.”