Trapped tortoise rescued by Norfolk Fire Service - with some “good old Vaseline”

PUBLISHED: 16:43 09 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:43 09 April 2014

A tortoise

A tortoise

Archant Norfolk © 2013

A Norfolk firefighter was called to an unusual shout today - after a tortoise got stuck in a sundial.

Derek Sim, from Thetford Fire Station, had to free shell-shocked Tommy the Tortoise after the reptile’s foot became stuck in the pattern of the ornament in Garlondes, East Harling, just before 3pm.

Despite a disgruntled Tommy hissing violently as he attempted to struggle free, Mr Sim plucked up the courage to step in and free him after his owner’s attempts were unsuccessful.

Leaving Norfolk Fire Service’s heavy cutting gear back at the station, Mr Sim used his 20 years of experience to come up with a common sense rescue method.

“His foot was well trapped and the sundial was heavy so we used some good old Vaseline.

“I rubbed it on his foot and we tipped the sundial over while the owner held Tommy and we managed to wriggle him out,” he said.

Mr Sim said Tommy had been “quite distressed” during the rescue, with his owners taking him to the vets after he was freed.

He added: “There are a couple of us in the station with more than 20 years experience and neither of us have ever seen anything like that. It was certainly a first for me.”

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