A RHINOCEROS the size of a small car had to be rescued by firefighters after getting stuck inside in his favourite tyre swing at Edinburgh Zoo.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was mobilised to the Zoo just before 6pm on Sunday to help the stricken animal.
A crew from the city’s Sighthill was met by the sight of two-year-old greater one-horned rhinoceros, Qabid, wedged tight by his leg and neck.
The firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to free him once he was sedated.
And the relieved rhino, who has been at the zoo since July, was back bouncing around after the sedative wore off – albeit a bit wobbly on his legs.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager John Hanlin said: “The crew did a great job in a very unusual situation.
“The rhino was stuck tight in the tyre and had to be sedated by the Zoo vets as he was becoming distressed.
“Edinburgh Zoo staff informed me that this event wasn’t the first time he had got himself stuck but he usually manages to get himself out – he very clearly wasn’t so nimble or lucky on this occasion.
“Our crew used specialist cutting equipment which is normally used for the extraction of persons involved in road traffic collisions.
“Once the firefighters managed to cut the tyre and free Qabid, the zoo vets gave him a drug to counteract the sedative and bring him round – and he was quickly back to his mischievous self.
“It’s not every day that our crews come into contact with such a beautiful animal.”
And this is not the first time that firefighters have stepped into an unusual rescue.
They supported RZSS Edinburgh Zoo vets during a dental procedure involving Bertus the greater one horned Indian rhino in November 2016.
They drew on their skills of searching collapsed buildings to safely manoeuvre the two tonne animal safely into the correct position for the operation.