Firefighters may be experts at rescuing cats from trees, but Oregon firefighters had their work cut out for them Tuesday when they received a phone call asking them to rescue a 1,500-pound camel from a sinkhole.
The Oregon City owners of the camel, Moses, called firefighters Tuesday night to say that he had fallen into a sinkhole 6 to 8 feet deep and was possibly injured.
"Nobody really believed it until we showed up," Clackamas firefighter Lt. Jed Wachlin told Fox 12 Oregon.
The owners -- who own several camels and run a children's ministry -- had tried to get the camel out themselves but failed.
Firefighters had to carefully shovel mud for several hours to free the animal and used straps to lift him out. The rescuers were concerned Moses would break his legs if he'd try to free himself while still partially buried.
"They had to get it all the way out the first time," fire department spokesman Steve McAdoo told Fox 12.
But Moses was patient, and eventually firefighters got him out.
The camel rested on its side for about one hour after being rescued then stood up and walked back to his barn, McAdoo told the station.
A veterinarian said the animal looked uninjured.
"It could have been our kids," Kim Dilworth, the camel's owner, told Fox 12 Oregon. "And Moses is [like] our child."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.