The Big Hole is the nickname of the deepest open pit diamond mine in Kimberley, Africa. Its depth is equivalent to 50 stories. At first mistaken for a meerkat, some tourists spotted at the bottom of that pit a Labrador that locals had nicknamed Underdog. No one knows how exactly the dog fell into the pit, and it’s a miracle that Underdog survived the fall, but then he needed a big rescue to get out.
Adding to the danger of Underdog’s situation, the bottom of the mine was filled with water. Underdog was swimming around until he had found a ledge to stand on. While those conditions were exhausting, the water did provide some hydration for the stranded dog. (Thankfully, the water was not poisonous.) But this added just another element to consider for the dog’s rescue. The mission was too dangerous to execute in the dark, so by daybreak the next day, the rescue began.
A team of paramedics and police search-and-rescue officials rappelled down into the open mine, a job that took 5 hours. Albert Hensburg, the spokesperson for ER24, the emergency service company in charge of the rescue, said that the dog needed some coaxing to know he would be in good hands. “Initially, when [Officer] Seeley reached the dog, it tried to get away from him, but he kept on talking to the animal and eventually calmed it down enough to slip the harness over its body,” said Hensburg.
Following the rescue, Underdog was taken to the vet and is surprisingly (and thankfully) in pretty good condition, all things considered. “Considering what it has been through, the dog does not show any signs of dehydration or starvation, nor did we see any injuries,” said Hensburg.
Underdog has no signs of having an owner and the lucky dog is now up for adoption. Many people watching the rescue and several members of the rescue team have expressed interest in giving the dog a permanent home, so it probably won’t be long before Underdog comes out on top with a loving family of his own.
Kudos to the brave rescuers who worked together to save Underdog! Check out more pictures of the pit and the rescue mission on the ER24EMS Twitter.
Photo credit: ER24EMS / Twitter.com