Lamb rescued in Waiau fissure: how it happened

The lamb running free after being rescued from the chasm by geologist Richard Phillips.
Twitter: Tonkin+Taylor

The lamb running free after being rescued from the chasm by geologist Richard Phillips.

Hearing that a lamb was rescued from a fissure created by the devastating Kaikoura earthquake is enough to make most of our hearts bleat.

Richard Phillips, a geologist at environmental consultancy firm Tonkin+Taylor, stumbled across the lamb's plight while mapping quake damage in Waiau.

The trapped lamb was rescued from the chasm eight days after the quake, according to Phillips' manager Shamus Wallace.

The lamb was found in the deep fissue eight days after the quake.
Twitter: Tonkin+Taylor

The lamb was found in the deep fissue eight days after the quake.

"I would hazard a guess the lamb hadn't been down there for eight days, given the condition we found it in."

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However, with the lamb having wandered in and unable to get out, it appears Phillips arrived in the knick of time.

Wallace said rescuing the "beast in distress" did not require a sophisticated salvaging operation.

"You just jump in there and put an arm under it, and around its neck, and gently lift it out," he explained.

"It was quite the departure from our day job."

Phillips was currently in Christchurch and planning to assess land in Kaikoura within the coming days.

The farmer  who owned the lamb had no idea how close it came to a sinister fate.

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"They have other things to worry about... [they] didn't necessarily need tapping on the shoulder."

Not that Phillips, a good samaritan, was especially concerned.

"The fact that it all ended happily was a good result anyway," Wallace said.

This ray of good news comes after three cows that were found stranded on an island of land, in the immediate aftermath of the Kaikoura quake, were reportedly saved when an enterprising farmer dug a trench for them. 

 - Stuff

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