Video Credit: CEN/Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar
These pics show a portly hedgehog stuck in a metal gate being rescued by firefighters who had to cut the chubby creature out with an angle grinder.
The fire brigade of Graz, a city in the Austrian state of Styria, was alerted by a passerby who spotted the hedgehog trapped in a metal gate and unable to move.
A team of firefighters was immediately dispatched to the scene to help the unfortunate animal.
Pictures Credit: CEN/BF Graz
Using a hydraulic splitter, firefighters first prised the bars apart to make sure the fat hedgehog could breathe.
A fire brigade spokesman said: “With the help of an angle grinder and with particular care, the frightened hedgehog was finally freed from its predicament.”
On first inspection, the fat hedgehog seemed uninjured.
However, the fire brigade decided to hand the animal over to the shelter ‘Kleine Wildtiere in grosser Not’ (‘Small Animals in Big Need’) as a precaution.
The Austrian hedgehog, which looks like it has consumed one Wiener Schnitzel too many, was not the first fat animal to be rescue by firefighters.
Earlier this year, firefighters in Bensheim, a town in the central German state of Hesse, had to rescue an unfortunate fat rat that got stuck in a manhole cover while trying to sneak out of a sewer.
Pictures Credit: CEN/Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar
Eyewitness Juliana and her husband Knut were the first ones to spot the chubby rodent.
Juliana said: “At first we tried to free the animal ourselves. We took leather working gloves and tried to carefully twist it out of the hole. It was terrified, screaming terribly, and bit into the glove.”
Even though Juliana thought it would be easier to pull out the rat once it had bitten its teeth firmly into the glove, they still did not manage to release it.
The family called Michael Sehr of the Professional Animal Rescue Rhein-Neckar to help.
Sehr immediately informed a friend from the local fire brigade, who also arrived on the scene with seven firefighters.
Mr Sehr said: “When the manhole cover was completely raised, I was able to free the rat with a twisting motion. It immediately dashed back to the sewers.”
Sehr said that the rat was one of the biggest he ever encountered, adding that it had plenty of “winter fat” on its body.
As a reward for helping the rodent, Juliana and Knut’s two young daughters gave some drawings of the rat to Sehr and the firefighters as a gift.