It took quick thinking, focus and teamwork to save Dan. Who is Dan? He's a 900 pound Belgian workhorse.
On Monday afternoon, Dan was walking with his handler in the exercise area directly next to the stable where he lives, when he fell into a sink hole about 4 feet deep.
Atlanta Fire Rescue arrived on the scene to the horse with his backside and rear legs stuck in the hole so deep it left him helpless. Dan was upset and irritated from trying to get himself out of the hole. He had been floundering for about 45 minutes trying to free himself, and by this time had become an agitated and extremely exhausted.
Atlanta Firefighters quickly assessed the situation and called Zoo Atlanta Officials and workers with the Department of Watershed Management to help with the incident. Dr. Maria Crane of Zoo Atlanta arrived on the scene along with a few other staff members. Crane administered Dan a fifteen minute tranquilizer in an effort to calm him down so he could be lifted out of the hole.
Once Dan began to get groggy and was asleep firefighters quickly placed the harness which was attached to the crane around him and signaled the crane operator to begin the lift. After a few slips through the harness and a few re-attachments, Dan was lifted out of the hole! Operation Save Dan was complete.
Firefighters admit that initially hearing a call over the radio asking them to respond to not "Dan the Man," but "Dan the workhorse" needing assistance was uncommon, however once they arrived on the scene they couldn