By Jack Williams
This heart-stopping POV footage shows just how far rescuers were required to go to save a helpless kitten stranded 25 feet deep down a narrow pipe.
Muddied and meowing for help, the camera attached to the Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team’s “flex pole” was able to reach and identify the tiny feline, which was discovered in Venice, California, USA.
The cat was found when a geologist heard a faint crying the day after their team had bored out a shaft in the area.
SMART Los Angeles rescuers Ernesto Poblano and Felix Lopez then worked to first identify the kitten, and then hatch a plan for its safe removal from deep in the shaft.
Once identified through the illuminated camera footage, the team used their flex pole – a hand-built piece of equipment made up of two-foot sections of half-inch-wide PVC pipe – to remove the animal.
The pole features two cameras – one infrared and linked to a video monitor above ground, the other to record certain rescues.
Using this technology, Ernesto and Felix were able to maneuver the pole, so that a loop of cable could then be placed around the kitten, grabbing it and pulling it to safety.
Following the rescue, on September 14, 2017, the male kitten was adopted by one of the geologists on the site, who renamed the adorable feline Timmy Borisshaft.
Pic from SMART Los Angeles / CatersOf the hour-long rescue, Armando Navarrete of SMART said: “The challenge we almost always face is that none of this is a science.
“It requires a lot of patience because the equipment to conduct these types of rescues does not exist, so we have to fabricate them.
“The technique used had to involve a custom fabricated “Flex Pole”, unlike a traditional animal-handling catch pole.
“I created this in 2009 because we couldn’t reach animals in situations like this one. The construction is quite basic.
“Also, animals don’t always understand that we are there to help, so making the grab is never easy.”