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Specialist listening equipment helps firefighters rescue dog trapped in Edinburgh fox den

Ethel was rescued on Sunday night (Scottish Fire & Rescue Service)
Ethel was rescued on Sunday night (Scottish Fire & Rescue Service)

FIREFIGHTERS in Edinburgh rescued a dog trapped in a fox den thanks to specialist equipment that listened for her whimpers.

One-year-old Ethel had been stuck for several hours underground when fire crews came to her aid at Corstorphine Hill just before midnight on Sunday.

Luckily she was retrieved from the dangerous predicament and reunited with owner May Watson, and has made a full recovery.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Andy McDermott said: “The crew initially tried to find the dog by using spades to excavate round the fox hole without success – but they were determined not to give up on the little animal.

“Using listening devices and remote cameras, which are used in urban search and rescue situations where we try to locate people in collapsed buildings, they were able to pinpoint the approximate location of Ethel who was stuck – and also the fox!

“I think the fox was just as shocked as we were when we found it.

“It wasn’t looking good for Ethel for a while due to the darkness coming in but she managed another whimper that allowed us to find her.

“The crew continued to dig down and eventually were able to retrieve the dog who appeared ecstatic to be free.”

Ethel’s owner May, who is a Watch Manager at the Edinburgh Control Room was watching over with worry as the crews from Tollcross, Dalkeith and Newcraighall fire stations got to work.

She said: “It was the first time we had taken her to that part of the hill and Ethel immediately got a scent of something and shot off.

“We heard her barking in the den for about an hour and expected her to retreat at some point but started to worry when we stopped hearing her – and this is when we called the Fire Service for help.

“We would never have been able to get her out without the firefighters help as she was trapped under the old railway carriage and couldn’t get out.

“She has now recovered from her ordeal after spending a day on the sofa.”

It’s not the first time that firefighters have rescued a dog underground using this type of equipment.

They supported Bear the chorkie dog in August when he became stuck down a series of rabbit holes in field in Linlithgow.

Using a series of sequences the crew were able to pinpoint the approximate location of Bear who was stuck down one of the rabbit warrens.

He was hydrated with water after his ordeal and after some cuddles from the crew and his owner he looked set to go chasing the rabbits again.