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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Week-old calf saved from 15-foot sinkhole

<p>Alachua County Sheriff Rural Services Unit officers and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Rescue Team worked together on Thursday to rescue a 1-week-old calf that had fallen into a 15-foot sinkhole in Newberry, Florida, and had been trapped in the hole for about a day.</p>

Alachua County Sheriff Rural Services Unit officers and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Rescue Team worked together on Thursday to rescue a 1-week-old calf that had fallen into a 15-foot sinkhole in Newberry, Florida, and had been trapped in the hole for about a day.

A little black heifer turned a week old Thursday, just a day after it was rescued from a sinkhole.

Not long after a rescue team from UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine hoisted the heifer 15 feet from the ground, she was carried to her wary mother. 

“At first she was like, ‘Are you really my kid?’” said John Haven, who led the rescue team.

The heifer fell into the hole — 2 feet in diameter — and remained there for at least 24 hours, said Haven, the director of the veterinary college.

At about 6 p.m. Wednesday, deputies with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the 7-acre pasture in Newberry, Florida.

Rescuers from the college then responded to a call from deputies.

The hole was too narrow for rescuers to fit inside, so they dug around its circumference, hoping the curved walls would not collapse, Haven said.

The heifer’s owner, 69-year-old James Monroe, initially thought the fall must have killed it.

Fortunately, Monroe said, he did not have to enter the sinkhole, which he had filled once before. 

Though the heifer had little identity at the time, the incident may have inspired a new name, Monroe said. 

“I guess we can call her ‘Lucky,’” he said.

@martindvassolo

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Alachua County Sheriff Rural Services Unit officers and the UF College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Rescue Team worked together on Thursday to rescue a 1-week-old calf that had fallen into a 15-foot sinkhole in Newberry, Florida, and had been trapped in the hole for about a day.

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