Dramatic pictures as calf is rescued after getting stuck in mud

Firefighters have rescued a distressed calf after it got stuck up to its neck in mud.  A worried passer-by contacted Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service concerned about the animal stranded in East Boldon between Shouth Shields and Sunderland.  Specialist crews attended the Boldon Flats Nature Reserve just before Tuesday lunchtime and, due to the searing summer’s heat, time was of the essence.  

Firefighters from Hebburn, Rainton Bridge and South Shields Community Fire Stations launched into a meticulous rescue operation.   A local vet sedated the calf before firefighters used an inflatable raft to enable them to get close.  The Northern Echo: The calf got stuck in the mud at Boldon Flats Nature Reserve. Picture: TWFRSThe calf got stuck in the mud at Boldon Flats Nature Reserve. Picture: TWFRS

They used specialist equipment to try and loosen the mud around the calf to make the task of lifting and freeing the animal a little easier.  The equipment in question was a mud lance and animal lifting strops, which were positioned around the calf’s torso.  The worried farmer also joined the rescue by providing a forklift truck to help add some brute strength to the task in hand. 

The Northern Echo: The rescued calf at Boldon Flats Nature Reserve. Picture: TWFRSThe rescued calf at Boldon Flats Nature Reserve.

Picture: TWFRS After two-and-a-half-hours the delicate rescue was complete and the lucky calf was freed from the mud.  The local vet attended and checked over the animal, which had not suffered any long-term injuries. 

Read more: County Durham school warns parents against ‘dangerous’ TikTok account The Northern Echo: The calf is able to walk with help from firefighters./ppPicture: TWFRSThe calf is able to walk with help from firefighters. Picture: TWFRS Andrew Blower, Risk and 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.    “We would always urge pet or livestock owners to be careful when letting their animals roam on flatlands as the land under foot can be unpredictable.  

“It was rewarding to be able to get the calf back to its relieved owner’s just in time for its afternoon snack.”  TWFRS crews left the scene of the successful animal rescue at 2.40pm, almost three hours after the initial call.  Read more: Road closures for Durham City Run and where to leave the car

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