The scene unfolded in Fontana, California; members of the San Bernardino County Fire squad got word that an adult male and a dog had fallen into a hole, the department said on Facebook Friday. Officials soon learned that the man had gotten free, but the dog was still stuck.
But the dog – a German shepherd – wasn’t alone when responders arrived. He was with the tortoise, several feet inside an underground tunnel.
“As crews arrived they found a tunnel that had been dug by the tortoise. This habitat traveled underneath a block wall, into a neighbor’s property, underneath a concrete patio and ultimately another walkway,” according to the fire department.
The critters got stuck after the dog appeared to have “brought a blanket into the tunnel,” leaving them "wedged and entangled,” officials said.
With the help of tools to clear away dirt -- and a bit of tortoise-directed coaxing with some lettuce -- the animals were rescued. A harrowing ordeal, to be sure. But in the end, both appeared unharmed, the department said.
“Pictured you can see the end result with both Taylor squeezing by as Godzilla crawls towards the lettuce held by our firefighter,” officials posted on Facebook. “Both animals belonged to the property owners where the tunnel started.”