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Hampshire firefighters have successfully carried out two animal rescues in the past few days.
On Thursday, 27 May animal rescue adviser and Eastleigh watch manager Anton Phillips helped rescue a young fox which had managed to lodge itself in a drainage pipe.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Control Room operators received a call at 14:35 from an RSPCA inspector who had in turn taken a call from Southern Water reporting a fox cub trapped in a drain at the company's pumping station in Rampart Road, Bitterne Manor, Southampton.
Watch manager Phillips was mobilised at 14:35 and found the cub wedged into a drain pipe coming out of a wall. Using a net he covered the exposed rear of the fox and then pulled the animal out before placing it into an RSPCA animal box and handing it over to the RSPCA for a check up and release.
On Tuesday, 1 June 2010, watch manager Phillips was mobilised once again, this time at 07:04 to reports of a steer with its head trapped in Chickenhall Lane, Bishopstoke. Arriving at the scene he found a Limousin X steer with its head trapped between a trailer wheel and the battery box of a make shift water tanker.
On this occasion he was joined by a crew from Eastleigh fire station and using Eastleigh's Multi Roll Vehicle they managed to lift the rear of the trailer and manipulate the animals head through a gap they had created.
Watch manager Phillips said:
"Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is widely regarded as having one of the best animal rescue teams in the country and we often run training courses where we share best practice in order to achieve successful animal rescues like these.
"This fox rescue was an excellent example of partnership working between ourselves, the RSPCA and Southern Water and through this joined up approach we managed to save the life of a young fox cub.
"The steer rescue was more complicated and is an example of why Fire and Rescue Services have animal rescue teams. A trapped animal can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable and untrained people often put their own lives at risk trying to rescue them. Fortunately both of these recent rescues have had successful outcomes."