There was a dramatic rescue in the southeast of England recently when a pet rabbit went on an adventure, ended up stuck on a roof and had to be saved by firefighters. The bunny, Barney, belongs to three-year-old Logan Witchell of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and it was his mother who noticed that Barney was not in his hutch, but on the roof.
Mark Duell, reporting for the Daily Mail, provided these details:
Sophie Witchell, 28, and her partner Grant Wyatt, 29, spent nearly two hours attempting to entice the white and grey one-year-old bunny to safety using lettuce leaves and carrots.
But the couple were forced to call for help from firefighters battling a blaze in a neighbouring street.
Miss Witchell said: ‘Barney was hanging on for dear life. I kept thinking he was going to fall down because he was slipping down the roof tiles as he got higher and higher.
‘I was really worried about Logan too. He was saying we weren’t going to be able to get him down and was trying to reassure him.
‘Afterwards, he was giving the firemen high fives though and saying “Fireman Sam saved Barney”, which was really lovely.’
Barney is thought to have escaped from his hutch before climbing onto the gutter and up to the roof.
Ricky Jones, of Southend Fire Station, explained that firefighters had trouble because they could not get the aerial ladder platform in, so instead had to use a roof ladder to get to the stranded bunny.
He said: ‘We had to bring it down as it belonged to a three-year-old little boy. We’ve got two guys on the watch who are retiring soon and they’ve never been to anything like it in 30 years.
‘Normally, when we work at heights, we have the aerial ladder platform out but we couldn’t get it in so that proved to be a problem. Working at height is a problem in itself.
‘We have to make sure we’re safe as well. After a bit of a run-around, we managed to corner the rabbit and grab it. The child and his parents were obviously thrilled to get it back.’
Two firefighters used the ladder while residents held towels between balconies to block any escape routes. The crew cornered Barney, placed him in a pillow case and returned him to his owners.
The complete story, along with photos of Barney, Logan and Sophie Witchell, as well as their three-storey block of flats, is available online at this link.
Rabbits are not necessarily recommended as good pets for children, especially three-year-old boys. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that bunnies like Barney require better supervision than very young people can provide. It was fortunate that this rabbit tale had a happy ending.
Photo by Robin McNicoll