Oregon Firefighters Free Camel From Sinkhole

OREGON CITY, Ore. --

Firefighters worked for hours to free a camel trapped in a sinkhole outside of Portland.

A homeowner in Oregon City called 911 at 9:42 p.m. Tuesday night to report that a camel, named Moses, had fallen into a 6-8 ft. deep sink hole.

The residents told dispatchers they tried to get the large animal out themselves before calling, but were unsuccessful.

Skeptical Clackamas County firefighters and sheriffs deputies responded and found exactly what was reported, a 1,500 lb. camel stuck up to its shoulders in a muddy hole.

After nearly an hour of trying to help the animal out, they called for more resources.

Another fire crew responded. The animal was exhausted and no longer able to move.

Firefighters say due to the distance from the road and the terrain, they were not able to bring any heavy equipment to the scene.

Crews had to use shovels to dig around the animal, while placing heavy duty straps under it to try and lift it.

They say its long legs were buried deep in the mud at the bottom of the hole.

Firefighters were concerned they would get the animal part way out and it would struggle and break one or both of its back legs.

After several more hours of digging and lifting, the animal was able to free its back legs and rest on its knees. One more big lift and the animal was safely lifted and dragged out of the hole.

Exhausted, Moses simply lay on his side after the nearly four hour ordeal.

The camel lay still for almost another hour before slowly getting to its knees.

A local vet arrived just after Moses decided he was ready to stand up.

The owners hugged and thanked the rescuers for saving the family pet.

Moses slowly walked back to his barn where the veterinarian checked him out, found no obvious injuries and let him drink some water and rest for the night.

It appears he will recover.

Clackamas Fire crews say in recent years, they have rescued a cow from a well, a horse that fell through a bridge into a creek and now a camel that fell into a hole.

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