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Badger down a well among more than 100 animals rescued by firefighters in 2019

PUBLISHED: 06:48 25 December 2019 | UPDATED: 07:31 26 December 2019

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service went to the aid of more than 100 animals in 2019. Pictures: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, Ben Birchall, David Rushbrook

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service went to the aid of more than 100 animals in 2019. Pictures: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, Ben Birchall, David Rushbrook

Norfolk Fire/Ben Birchall/David Rushbrook

Firefighters in Norfolk were called upon more than 100 times to animals in peril this year – with calls far more wide-ranging than just rescuing cats from trees.

Norfolk fire service rescued an owl from a tree on Unthank Road this weekend. Photo: Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceNorfolk fire service rescued an owl from a tree on Unthank Road this weekend. Photo: Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

While treebound moggies did prove a fairly regular occurrence for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service to deal with in 2019, felines found themselves in a variety of other predicaments across the year.

On November 11, a crew 
from Methwold station near Thetford was called to the aid of a cat who had been missing several days and was found trapped in a 12ft hole.

Another recurring theme with cats was car parts, with a firefighters called on several occasions to cats stuck in parts of vehicles, including engines and even a fan belt. Another cat had to be rescued after trapping its tail in the reclining mechanism of a sofa.

However, it was not solely cats that took up the time of Norfolk's firefighters, with several call outs made for wild animals.

Firefighters have been trying to free an owl from a tree on Unthank Road after it escaped from an event. Photo: Gordon MawFirefighters have been trying to free an owl from a tree on Unthank Road after it escaped from an event. Photo: Gordon Maw

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On February 28, a crew from Cromer fire station was called to the aid of a badger trapped down a well, while on October 27 a crew from Martham rescued a hedgehog stuck underneath a storage heater.

There were also several calls to release deer trapped in fencing and railings, farm animals in ditches and birds in chimneys.

Among the bird-related incidents was a crow stuck on a television aerial which was attended by a crew from King's Lynn in April, a swan with its legs trapped in a pontoon (attended by Sprowston) and a gull hanging upside down by its wing on a roof near Gorleston.

Meanwhile, in Septmber, a crew from Earlham was sent to Unthank Road in Norwich after an owl being displayed at a nearby care home escaped from its tether and got stuck atop a lamp post.

Between January 1 and the beginning of December, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was called to a total of 108 animal related incidents.

It represented a 32pc drop in the number of rescues from the same period in 2018, with 161 animal rescues carried out. In 2017, there were 128, while there were 138 rescues in 2016.

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