Birmingham & Black Country

Tortoise stuck between Dudley homes leaves fire crew with painstaking task

Fireman and rescued tortoise Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption Fire crews work shell or high water

Fire crews may be well versed in rescuing cats but tortoises can prove just that little bit trickier.

When one reptile got wedged between houses in Dudley, firefighters knew they faced a marathon, not a sprint.

As pictures of the operation show, West Midlands Fire Service also knew they needed a big stick - although the carrot approach remained untested.

With the rescue a success, the five-year-old tortoise was reunited with its owner.

Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption More animal trouble than you can shake a stick at

After the operation on Saturday, West Midlands Fire Service said its work was "not just fires".

The crisis over, it allowed the service to make an irresistible joke, posting on Twitter "it was SLOW going".

Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption After the ordeal, this tortoise came out of his shell - literally

The Express and Star reported the animal became stuck between two houses on Merryfield Road, with the operation taking about an hour.

Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption The gap in which the animal was stuck - the tortoise and the hair's breadth either side