Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Calf stuck in mud was 'cooling off in heatwave'

Young cow rescued by firefighters
Image caption Firefighters faced a "race against time" to wrench the calf free before the tide rose

A calf that got stuck in mud as it tried to cool off by a river had to be freed by firefighters before high tide.

The nine-month-old Belgian Blue became stranded as it tried to reach the River Hamble near Manor Farm Country Park at about 15:50 BST on Thursday.

Several crewmembers from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service wrenched the young cow free 20m (65ft) from the riverbank in Lower Swanwick, Hampshire.

Watch manager Buster Brown said the team faced a race against time.

The incident happened after a farmer had let his herd of about 20 calves into the field for the first time.

Mr Brown added: "It got stuck in mud around 20m from the hard shingle bank so we attached a strap around its upper torso and were able to ease it out, sliding the calf across the mud to safety.

"The tide had begun to turn so we had to work quickly and efficiently to ensure the animal was clear of the water before the high tide."

The calf was released by 17:15 and was said to be unharmed by its ordeal.

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