Meet Irene, Yorkshire’s luckiest cow.

Irene, who belongs to Far Barsey Farm, Barkisland, became trapped in a drainage tunnel after wandering off from her herd on Friday evening.

It took six fire brigade rescue experts and assorted farm and animal workers two-and-a-half hours to free the 500kg Limousin from the culvert half a mile down Saddleworth Road at Greetland.

The alarm was raised after Irene’s owner John Dean found the silly moo stuck in the tunnel measuring 1m 50cm high and 90m long.

Mr Dean, who runs Far Barsey Farm with his family, said if Irene had gone further it would have been impossible to save her.

He said: “She got 30m into the tunnel. There’s a bend a bit further on and if she’d got to the bend we wouldn’t have been able to get her out and she would have had to be put down.”

Irene, aged 15 months, was heavily sedated before fire brigade specialist rescuers attached a harness to her. The harness was linked by a tow rope to a tractor and Irene – a valuable pedigree beef cow – was slowly dragged out.

The tunnel, off Saddleworth Road, Greetland, from where Irene the cow had to be rescued by firefighters
The tunnel, off Saddleworth Road, Greetland, from where Irene the cow had to be rescued by firefighters
 

The animal was brought round with another drug and taken to Far Barsey Farm where she is currently resting.

Mr Dean said: “I never heard of an animal in there and the area has been in our family since 1897 and probably before.

“She’s still a bit stiff and she’ll be bruised but she looks hearty and healthy."

Mr Dean added: “I’m going to have to make something to go across the culvert.

“It could have been a child in there and you would never find them.”

Cleckheaton Fire Station watch commander Andy Rose, who helped rescue the hapless bovine, said: “She’d gone in a tunnel and found she couldn’t turn round.

“We had to bring her out slowly taking care so she didn’t bang her head on the floor.

“It was quite a challenging extrication working in a confined space.

“The animal was uninjured and didn’t appear distressed.

“It was certainly bizarre.”