German fire department frees chubby rat from manhole cover

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German fire department frees chubby rat from manhole cover
Photo: DPA

Like many of us, the rat overindulged during the Christmas period and added a little ‘Winterspeck’ to its hips. A team of eight firefighters worked together to free the chubby rodent.


A rat in Bensheim, Hesse, has had a timely reminder of the perils of holiday overindulgence, getting stuck in a manhole cover and needing a team of emergency service workers to secure its release.

The rat was discovered with its head and upper body protruding from the manhole cover in the town about 30 kilometres south of Frankfurt.

The rat had been trapped due to too much ‘Winterspeck’, a German word which literally translates to ‘winter bacon’ and refers to the extra weight one puts on during the winter period.

A tweet from the Hessenschau news network. 

An animal rescue team was initially tasked with the rat rescue but was unsuccessful in securing its release, before the fire department was called in. After lifting the manhole cover, the rat was freed with the help of a ‘fixation rod’ - and a simple twist of the wrist.

The rat was released into a nearby park, presumably already planning to cut down on the calories and work towards a summer beach body.

When asked if tying up resources to save a trapped rodent in one city while setting up traps to poison rodents in others was a contradiction, animal rescuer Michael Sehr told the DPA “even animals which are hated by many deserve respect”. 


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