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Fire crews hop to the rescue of pet rabbit Bumper as high winds blow her on to home roof

By Cate McCurry

Published 30/01/2016

A firefighter rescues Bumper from the rooftop in Omagh yesterday
A firefighter rescues Bumper from the rooftop in Omagh yesterday
A firefighter rescues Bumper from the rooftop in Omagh yesterday
A firefighter rescues Bumper from the rooftop in Omagh yesterday

A pet rabbit was at the centre of a dramatic rescue bid after it was catapulted on to the roof of a house during the severe winds yesterday.

The Fire Service was called to the property in Omagh, Co Tyrone, when the black and white bunny became an unsuspecting victim of Storm Gertrude.

Bumper was thrown on to the roof after the storm blew her hutch over.

There was a tense stand-off between Bumper and the crew commander, who was dubbed the specially trained 'rabbit negotiation officer', before he finally managed to get the bunny off the roof with a carrot in hand.

The rabbit was discovered on the roof of Woodbank House, a residential care home.

The care home's deputy manager, Roisin, said that Bumper and her friends Thumper were now left without a home after Storm Gertrude destroyed the hutch, which was made by one of the tenants.

"We have two rabbits, Thumper and Bumper at the care home," she explained.

"Thumper is okay and was found in the hutch. The storm had lifted it off the ground and blew it apart and the rabbit landed on the roof.

"We came outside and found it was broken and was lying at the side of the building. We tried to get Bumper down but couldn't so we had to call the Fire Service who rescued her.

"She was a bit nervous afterwards but is okay now. We now no longer have a hutch and we're hoping someone will donate one as the two rabbits will have to sleep in the greenhouse."

The rabbit rescue mission by the firefighters involved one short extension ladder, one reach pole and one tasty carrot.

David Doherty, the Fire Service's district commander for Omagh, said the rescue was "something a wee bit different on a Friday morning".

"Usually for animal rescues, we would pass the details on to the USPCA, but the circumstances to this were a little bit different as we were told the animal had been blown onto the roof by the wind," he added.

"When the crew got there, they found the storm had caught the rabbit's hutch enclosure and catapulted the rabbit up onto the roof.

"But It was quite easy for them to go up there and rescue the rabbit."

A Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: "Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service received a call at 9.16am to a report of an animal rescue incident at residential premises at the Deverney Road area of Omagh.

"One fire appliance from Omagh fire station was deployed to the scene of a rabbit blown onto a roof in the area.

"Firefighters using a triple extension ladder, roofing ladder and a water rescue reach pole managed to successfully rescue the rabbit.

"The rabbit has been safely returned to its owner."

Belfast Telegraph

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