Highlands & Islands

Bull saved after 48 hours in muddy hole on Skye

Bull in hole Image copyright SFRS
Image caption The bull was rescued from the hole by firefighters

A bull has been rescued from a deep, muddy hole it fell into while roaming around looking for cows.

The one-tonne, £2,000 animal was lost for 48 hours in the storm drain on peatland near Ben Aketil Wind Farm on the Isle of Skye.

The bull vanished from the place it was kept last Friday before being found on Sunday.

Firefighters and local crofters took 20 minutes to free the animal, which was hungry but unharmed.

Fifteen people were involved in the operation with firefighters from Portree, Broadford and Dunvegan involved.

Image copyright SFRS

Broadford firefighter Martin Benson said: "The bull had been stuck for a considerable amount of time and had lost a lot of weight.

"We cut the peat bank as best we could around the bull which was about three feet below ground level - and stuck at either side when we arrived.

"Eventually we managed to carve out some room for the bull to wriggle itself free."

'Looking for cows'

He added: "The first thing the animal did was shake itself down and go for something to eat.

"In such a remote, agricultural area these rescues are sometimes necessary - and it's nice to have a happy outcome."

Crofter Ian Duncan last saw the animal on Friday morning and began to worry on Saturday afternoon.

Image copyright SFRS

He said: "He disappeared on the Friday while searching for cows.

"It's not uncommon for a bull to go missing in such a large area but this bull had never gone missing for such a time before.

"When we found the animal I was surprised at how far he'd travelled.

"I called the fire service right away and they did a magnificent job of digging him out."

He added: "He's been eating a lot more - but apart from that he's looking okay."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites