A family of badgers had to be rescued after all three tumbled into a deep concrete pit.
The two adults and a juvenile were spotted in the 2.4m (8ft) drainage shaft in a rural spot in Milton Keynes.
"The old concrete cover... had collapsed into it so the badgers were huddled up together under some rubble at the bottom," the RSPCA said.
Volunteers from wildlife organisations used graspers to lift the unharmed but "very strong and heavy" threesome out.
Members of a local badger group and wildlife rehabilitation organisation accompanied RSPCA officer Sally Kearns to the remote site where the family had been spotted, huddled beneath blocks of collapsed concrete.
"They were a long way down and the sides of the shaft were vertical concrete so there's no way they could clamber out on their own," she said.
"Thankfully, it was fairly easy to catch the badgers using a grasper and lift them free.
"It was incredibly helpful having some extra pairs of hands to help with the rescue as the badgers were very strong and heavy."
They were checked over and found to be none the worse for their ordeal.
"The badgers each took off like a rocket into the long grass and undergrowth and certainly seemed to know where they were going to get back home," Ms Kearns added.