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How firefighters used brawn in moorland animal rescue

Cow and calf stuck in drainage culvert assisted by fire crews

A firefighter approaches the stranded cow in the distance

The ‘steaks’ were high in this moorland rescue of a cow and her calf.

A fire service technical rescue unit had to be drafted in from Cleckheaton Fire Station when the cow and calf became separated and stranded in a drainage culvert near Slaithwaite.

It’s believed that the young calf had slipped in the fast flowing water and had gone under a low bridge and the cow had followed her offspring into the water but could not get under the bridge herself.

Fire crews working to rescue a cow from a culvert near Slaithwaite


A fire service spokesman said: “This created a situation where mother cow and calf were both stranded in the water on separate sides of the bridge.

“Crews managed to walk the calf out of the culvert with a bit of coaxing but the mother cow was proving stubborn and would not move from where she last saw her calf.

“Crews had to attached a harness and use a telehandler machine to lift the cow out of the culvert and onto the bank side where, assisted by the farmer, the mother and calf were reunited without injury.”

Fire crews at the rescue scene near Slaithwaite


The rescue, which involved eight fire crew and a technical rescue officer, took around two hours in total.

The incident happened off Intake Lane, which is between Slaithwaite and Meltham.

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