The sheep’s distressed bleating had been heard by a couple walking on Saturday, May 14, and as soon as inspector Ryan King got the call he donned his overalls and trekked several miles to find the location near to the B-29 crash site, east of Glossop between Snake Pass and Torside.
He said: “Usually with lambs they get trapped in hedges or fences, so it was a bit strange to find one down a hole. Luckily for her she was heard crying.”
On arrival at the scene, Ryan lowered himself down six feet to reach the young sheep, which was firmly stuck in mud at the bottom of the hole, and then carried it back up on to dry land.
Ryan said: “The hole was quite small and I could just about stand up in it. The lamb was matted in soil, but she was okay. After cleaning her up in running water I released her near some other sheep.
“I needed to take my backpack for this job. It was quite a muddy rescue but fortunately I had a spare shirt in my van.”
While the RSPCA has dealt with several incidents in recent months in which sheep have been rescued from precarious positions after having been panicked by out-of-control dogs, the inspector suspects this lamb’s fall was accidental.
The RSPCA advises members of the public who come across sheep trapped in circumstances such as this, not to attempt a rescue themselves.
Ryan said: “It did take some time to get to the location – which could have been spent responding to another call as the farmer could have dealt with this situation.
“What we advise as a helpful solution is for farmers to put emergency contact numbers on their footpath gates so that if a walker spots a sheep or livestock in a difficult situation, they can contact the farmer directly who will be there locally to solve the problem quickly.”