Two donkeys whose pasture flooded in northern England were rescued by the British RSPCA’s specialist water rescue team.
The donkeys, 15-year-old Davy and four-year-old Noah, were moved to safety on Tuesday from their field in the village of Cattal, York.
Both animals were cold but unhurt.
The operation involved five specialist officers who had travelled from across the North of England for the rescue.
“We had to wade out quite a way to get to the donkeys and though they were happy to be led in the more shallow water it became much trickier when the field dipped,” RSPCA Chief Inspector Mark Gent said.
“The water was pretty deep. At one point we were up to our necks in it and the donkeys were literally swimming.
“I’ve done swimming with dolphins but it’s the first time, and hopefully the last, I’ll swim with donkeys!”
The team went to Ripon to rescue 14 sheep from Little Studley Rd. The sheep made a swim for it moments before the team waded out, and were all fine.
It was then over to the northwest of the region to help other officers with the rescue of two horses and a herd of cattle stuck in the River Lune at Brookhouse, Lancaster.
Fortunately, water levels dropped and all were OK. Followup visits took place this morning to check on them.
A team of four specialist water rescue officers were stationed in the York area on Wednesday, with more flooding predicted.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy, co-ordinating the North of England water rescue team’s response, said: “We have a small but dedicated team of water rescue specialists who are on-call around the clock at the moment.
“We have had quite a lot of calls and every call we’ve had has been assessed by a local inspector and passed to the water rescue team where necessary.”
Melloy said it was the responsibility of owners to ensure the welfare of their animals.
RSPCA flood advice is available at http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/helpandadvice/floods