Heroic farmer rescues inquisitive calf that squeezed itself 240ft down an underground water pipe

A farmer and his daughter have earned 15 minutes of fame after their two-and-a-half-hour rescue operation to save a calf that got stuck in an underground water pipe on their farm in Dumfriesshire,

When Robert Osborne, from Durisdeer, and his daughter, Grace, realised one of their calves was missing on Tuesday, they started looking everywhere for it, but couldn’t locate it — until they heard cries of distress coming from a field.

Their search revealed that the three-week-old Aberdeen Angus — aptly nicknamed Trouble — had managed to make its way into a two-foot underground pipe and could no longer get out.

Mr Osborne hadn’t thought it possible for the ‘pretty big’ calf to enter the hole, but as soon as he figured out what had happened, he launched a rescue operation.

It was apparent that the job would be hard as Mr Osborne initially couldn’t even see the animal. Trouble, unable to turn back once it had got into the hole, had kept walking on, in a bid to find a way out, until it had become firmly wedged in some 240 feet from the entrance.

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So Mr Osborne and stockman Iain Robertson began digging holes to try and reach it, while Grace, who is a young photographer, filmed the entire operation.

After two and a half hours of gruelling work, which entailed using a digger and breaking the pipe open, they finally managed to get to the calf and pull it out of the hole with the help of a box and some rope.

Despite its ordeal, Trouble was unharmed, if a little cold and wet. Mr Osborne warmed it up with a heat lamp and it is now fine.

‘Farmers get bad enough press for looking after their animals, but 99.9% of farmers do look after their animals,’ Mr Osborne told the BBC, before adding: ‘It is a nice wee calf.’

And although the Osbornes’ field is a mess that will need sorting out, there is also a silver lining for Grace — she has been offered a work experience with ITV.