Sewer rats are normally considered to be vermin that requires extermination. But two kind little girls found a rat, fat from pounds put on during the winter months, stuck in a hole in a sewer cover. It happened on Sunday afternoon in Bersheim, Germany and led to a multi-agency rescue operation to free the rotund rat. We can no doubt all sympathise with the extra pounds picked up by the animal during the winter season!

Sewer rat in trouble

As noted by The Guardian, the overweight rodent had tried to get some fresh air by using a hole which was a little smaller than his winter girth to exit the town’s sewers.

His hips became firmly stuck. After the little girls spotted what they considered to be an animal in danger, calls were made and Michael Sehr from the Rhein Neckar animal rescue service arrived on the scene. He soon discovered that he couldn’t lift the manhole cover to push the rat out from the other side.

A group of firefighters from the Auerbach fire brigade were called out to assist. While the rat protested, giving loud squeaks, Sehr used his catch pole to restrain him while the rescue ensued. The firefighters came armed with crowbars, with which they were able to lift the manhole cover without hurting the rat. They propped it up with some large rubber wedges while Sehr went on to free the stuck rat, using only his gloved hands to push the animal’s rather large backside through the hole.

The Telegraph reports that in total, it took around eight firefighters along with the animal rescue person to give the rat his well-deserved freedom. While the team carried out the rescue, firefighters took video footage and photos of the operation which the animal rescue group posted on social media.

Rat escapes from ordeal unhurt

Sehr told the local news agency DPA that the rat was carrying a sizeable amount of winter fat on his hips and there was no way for him to go forward or backward. In images posted to social media, the rat could be seen firmly stuck, with his bottom half trapped in the sewer cover. In one image he appeared to be almost calling out for “hilfe” (help).

Sehr said that even animals hated by many people still deserve respect and that he had no qualms about going to his rescue.

The Auerbach fire department confirmed that after the animal was rescued, he was released into the wild (of the sewers), saying the operation had taken around 25 minutes. The two little girls presented the team with a gift, which included a drawing of the rat, surrounded by love hearts and the word “Danke!” (thank you) written across it.

When images were posted to the Rhein Neckar Animal Rescue page on Facebook, some people did question the wisdom of using so much manpower to rescue a sewer rat, along with contributing to the well-known rat problem experienced in Germany. However, most commenters praised the rescuers for their humanity in not leaving the rat (“Herr Ratte”) to its fate. Watch the entire rescue operation in the video below.