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Firefighter frees Tommy the tortoise using a blob of Vaseline

The officer said he had "never seen anything like it".

A resourceful firefighter set a tortoise free from a sundial with a blob of Vaseline on Wednesday.

Tommy the tortoise hissed as he struggled to free himself from the pattern of the garden ornament in Garlondes, East Harling, after attempts by his owner were unsuccessful, the Eastern Daily Press reported.

Norfolk Fire Services firefighter Derek Sim accepted the challenge to free the anxious tortoise at around 3pm.

“His foot was well trapped and the sundial was heavy so we used some good old Vaseline.

“I rubbed it on his foot and we tipped the sundial over while the owner held Tommy and we managed to wriggle him out,” he told the newspaper.

Mr Sim said Tommy had been "quite distressed" during the rescue, and was taken to the vets by his owner after the ordeal.

He added: “There are a couple of us in the station with more than 20 years experience and neither of us have ever seen anything like that. It was certainly a first for me.”