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Olive Oil and Finesse: German Police Rescue Squirrel from Manhole Cover

Lodged in a manhole cover with only its little head peeking out, a squirrel in northern Germany found itself in a rather sticky situation on Monday. But armed with olive oil and a few clever ideas, police officers managed to ensure a happy ending.

A happy ending just waiting to be documented in a children's book... Zoom
DPA/ Polizei Großburgwedel

A happy ending just waiting to be documented in a children's book...

It all could have been so much worse, but thanks to some olive oil and a bit of clever maneuvering by German police, one spirited squirrel has lived to see another day.

After hearing frantic shrieks coming from the street on Monday, a woman in the northern German municipality of Isernhagen, near Hanover, discovered that the creature had lodged its head in the opening of a manhole cover. She called local police, who at first struggled to release it from the unexpected trap, daily Nordhannoversche Zeitung reported.

First, the officers attempted to push the rodent's head back through the manhole cover. Then they pulled the metal disc out and set it upright, while one officer pushed the head and the other pulled the body. When this didn't work either, they applied a bit of olive oil to the furry captive, but still failed to dislodge it, the paper reported.

It was only when it occurred to one of the officers to press the squirrel's ears back that it slipped safely out of it streetbound snare. It is reportedly recovering in a nearby garden.

Last year another squirrel in the same situation in Hamburg wasn't quite so lucky, though. When fire fighters there failed to release that squirrel, they transported it along with the manhole cover to an animal shelter, where they used a metal saw to cut it out. The animal died shortly thereafter, probably from stress.

Pushing the squirrel's ears back finally did the trick. Zoom
DPA/ Polizei Großburgwedel

Pushing the squirrel's ears back finally did the trick.

kla -- with wire reports


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