William Stukeley Primary School, Holbeach, stages real-life animal rescue featuring hedgehog Timmy trapped in a drainpipe
Youngsters and staff at a Holbeach school witnessed a real-life animal rescue perfectly timed for Hedgehog Awareness Week.
Timmy the hedgehog got himself stuck down a drainpipe at William Stukeley Primary School on Tuesday.
After attempts by the school's site manager, John Sampson, and an RSPCA inspector to free Timmy, it was left to Holbeach vet Louise Johnson who applied a gentle touch to rescue the hedgehog.
Mr Sampson said: "I went on site at about 7.15am on Tuesday when I saw that the grate was off the top of the drainpipe.
"I looked to see if any wildlife had gone down the drainpipe and found a hedgehog which I tried to grab to pull it out.
"But after using a litter picker, I couldn't get it out so went over to South Lincs Vet Group in Holbeach and their staff gave me a device to try and get the hedgehog out.
"Sadly, it didn't seem to do the trick and so I called the RSPCA which sent an inspector out to rescue the hedgehog.
"In the end, the vet's practice nurse had to come across and get it out."
The RSPCA regularly advises people to cover drainpipes or check them on a daily basis in case a hedgehog or other wild animal falls into one and becomes trapped.
Miss Johnson said: "The site manager at the school was looking for some hints and tips on how to get this hedgehog out of the drainpipe.
"But when the RSPCA inspector was unable to get the hedgehog out, I suggested sedating it in order to get it relaxed.
"Every time someone touched the hedgehog, or even with the slightest noise, it would roll itself up into a ball to make itself smaller.
"In the end, I went over to the school and after getting a few spikes in the finger, we managed to get it out."
Timmy, named by staff at South Lincs Vet Group after a character from a Lassie movie, was dried off and warmed up after hiss ordeal before being released back into the wild.
"The hedgehog was very cold and wet after getting itself well and truly stuck down the drain," Miss Johnson said.
"It was in a bit of shock as well so we put Timmy on some hot pads to try and dry him out.
"Then we left him in an incubator overnight to keep him warm and in the dark.
"After taking him out of the incubator, Timmy is back to full strength and walking on its own.
"It was good that someone found Timmy in time because he's quite a big hedgehog and if he wasn't found in time, the chances of survival wouldn't have been good because hedgehogs don't cope very well with the cold and in the wet."
Mr Sampson said: "I've never found a hedgehog stuck in a drainpipe before and it's really weird that this happened during Hedgehog Awareness Week.
"But I have an interest in wildlife so you've just got to do your best to help animals."
More by this authorWinston Brown