In the German town of Bensheim, rescue workers got a bizarre call – a fat rat needed help after getting stuck halfway out of a sewer manhole.
“She had a lot of winter flab and was stuck fast at her hip – there was no going forward or back,” animal rescuer Michael Sehr said to local media.
A fairly large rescue operation commenced – leading some to question why all the effort was spent on saving a lowly rat.
“Even animals that are hated by many deserve respect,” Mr Sehr stated.
Volunteer firefighters responded to a call on Sunday afternoon, the local fire department said, and noted the “animal rescue, small animal” code.
Mr Sehr, from the local professional animal rescue in Rhein Neckar, was already there – but could not free the chunky rodent from the opening of the manhole cover.
With the help of a full team of firefighters, the manhole cover was lifted and propped on wedges while Mr Sehr managed to pop the rotund rat free.
She was released straight back into the dephts of the sewer – but not before some close-up photographs were snapped.
Once shared to the animal rescue team’s Facebook page, they attracted hundreds of comments lauding the care given to an animal that is more often targeted for extermination.
For Mr Sehr, however, there was no charge for the finder of this animal in pain – but he did receive a hand-drawn picture of the rat, surrounded by hearts, from the little girl who first found the distressed and squeaking creature.