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East Midlands engineers rescue pet ferret from drain23rd October 2012

The engineers from Lanes for Drains have found some weird and wonderful things in drains, but a team from the East Midlands depot were surprised to come face to face with a friendly ferret while on a routine cleanse and survey project.

The furry pet appeared as they had finished jetting the drain and were preparing to send the CCTV camera in, as part of the £580 million, Nottingham Express Transit tramway extension scheme.

Lanes’ engineer Michael Patterson said: “We suddenly saw a head peeping out of the pipe but didn’t realise what it was at first. Then one of our traffic management guys came over and threw a chicken sandwich into the manhole chamber, which enticed the animal out of the pipe. It was then we saw that it was a ferret.”

Michael and teammate Martyn Jones contacted Wayne Batham, site engineer for the main contractor, Taylor Woodrow and Alstom Consortium. “I thought it was a joke when the guys rang me,” said Wayne. “But meantime the whole scheme had come to a standstill while plans were made for ‘operation rescue ferret.’"

“Michael had the foresight to call the local RSPCA. Meanwhile, another Lanes operative — one with previous experience of ferrets — managed to capture the creature, just as the RSPCA officer arrived.”

“A passerby said that a nearby pub had lost a ferret,” said Michael. “It seems they had a problem with rats so borrowed two ferrets for pest control
purposes. Both ferrets went down the drain but only one came back.”

Fortunately this is an animal tale with a happy ending. The AWOL rat-catcher had been missing for a couple of days so the owner was delighted to be reunited with his ferret friend. The ferret, meanwhile, who seemed to be fit and healthy despite his ordeal, was too busy finishing his chicken dinner to comment.

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