It wasn't the morning firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW Station 511 Yass had expected.
However, when the call came through on Wednesday for help to rescue a cow stuck in Yass River overnight, it was all hands on deck.
"We only do one or two of these (large animal rescues) per year," Fire and Rescue NSW Station 511 Yass Captain Scott Lang said.
The operation lasted about two-and-a-half hours and required firefighters to join the cow in the river.
Special equipment was also required from a State Emergency Service (SES) unit in Queanbeyan and Yass Valley Council.
SES volunteers and NSW Police also helped with the rescue, while NSW Ambulance and a vet from Yass Valley Veterinary were on stand-by.
The cow had walked into the river from a property on the south side of town and became stuck in silt on Tuesday night. It was found by its owner the next morning.
The operation was made harder by the fact the cow was so tired after being in the river overnight, Captain Lang said.
"Our initial attempt was to move the cow to a part of the bank that was shallower for the cow to climb out from. But the cow didn't move because it was fatigued," Captain Lang said.
Firefighters had to jump into the river and manually move the cow.
They then created a slope on the bank and brought in a ramp, and an excavator finally pulled the cow out, Captain Lang said.
"Our wide-ranging rescue capability includes animals. This was a great example of a multi-agency response," Captain Lang said.
The owners, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were extremely grateful to everyone who helped.
"I was really impressed with the local guys. Credit where credit's due, it was a community exercise," one of the owners said.
Three firefighters from Station 511 Yass are on their way to a five-day deployment at the northern NSW fires. We wish them good luck!
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