Fire service step in to save guinea pig

KATASHA MCCULLOUGH
Last updated 14:45 29/08/2014
Highlight guinea pig

SAFE AND SOUND: Highlight the guinea pig is now safely back with her owner.

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A runaway guinea pig managed to evade its new owner but couldn't escape the long arm of the law.

Nadine Vasquez, 18, bought her two guinea pigs Highlight and Munchkin yesterday morning and let them loose in her Glenfield home on Auckland's North Shore.

But Highlight got a fright at around 11am and ran behind the bathroom sink, crawling through a hole in the floor and into the roof void.

Vasquez spent the rest of the day ''panicking'' and trying to lure the runaway out with food.

She gave up when it got dark and called the Auckland Council for help - the council sent the Fire Service.

Takapuna station officer Mark Neville and his team arrived at about 6.30pm and were able to remove a grid and use a ladder to reach the roof void.

Neville sent in one of the tallest firefighters, a former policeman, whose arms were just long enough to scoop up Highlight and return her to Vasquez.

He said the guinea pig would otherwise have been trapped in the roof ''forever''.

''We joked afterwards that this fireman used to be a police officer, so not even a guinea pig could escape the long arm of the law.''

It is unclear who had a more alarming experience, Highlight or Nadine's dad, who came home from work to discover a fire truck in his driveway and firefighters all over the house.

He did not even know his daughter had bought the guinea pigs.

Vasquez said she talked to her mum about getting the pets but ''I don't think she took me seriously''.

The guinea pig, who was named Highlight after the white stripe on her head, is now safely back in her cage with Munchkin.

Vasquez said she could not imagine leaving Highlight stuck in the roof overnight.

''It's my first guinea pig, I'd like it to grow old and not die on me.''

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- North Shore Times

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