A pet hamster trapped down a pipe for three days made a great escape by clambering up a tiny ladder purpose-built to rescue him.
Fang's owners, the Sykes family, feared they would never see their furry friend again after he got stuck in the pipe at their home in Manchester.
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They faced a desperate race against time to save the poor rodent, who was thrust into peril after darting through a hole in a skirting board.
Fang's family called in help from United Utilities, the RSCPA and emergency drainage company Dyno in a bid to rescue their beloved pet.
But in the end he was saved by ingenuity of dad Andy, who built a tiny ladder out of chicken wire so Fang could climb free.
The six-month-old hamster had been enjoying a run in his ball when one of the plastic sides broke away.
Fang seized his opportunity and darted out of the living room while his six-year-old owner Zac and dad Andy were watching TV.
Andy said: "Out of the corner of my eye I could see him pottering about in his exercise ball.
"But when I looked again I realised he was in the corner of the kitchen.
"I jumped up and went to grab him but he slipped through my fingers behind the cupboards. I didn't know how to reach him."
Fang then found his way through a gap in the skirting board and burrowed under the house through a hole where the fresh water supply leads into the kitchen.
Mr Sykes called on his father-in-law to help with his power drill so they could gain access behind the cupboards.
He said: "We pulled out the washing machine and went in behind the cupboards.
"We were using our phones as torches to try and find him but he had disappeared."
The next day Mr Sykes picked up his search behind the cupboards and noticed teeth marks in the black foam surrounding a kitchen pipe.
He said: "I looked closer and saw that he had chewed his way down. I knew he had to be there and I began shining by phone and tapping the pipe.
"Then I saw his head pop up and he was at the bottom scurrying around.
"I was really excited he was alive because I hadn't seen him for two days. My son had been tipping food down the hole so he didn't starve."
Oldham Evening Chronicle
A rescue mission ensued as the family cut off the top of Fang's cage to form a ladder.
When that failed they tied some old tea towels together to form a rope.
"We had to be as creative as possible," said Mr Sykes.
The family contacted United Utilities and the RSPCA to ask for advice but to no avail.
Next they phoned emergency drainage company Dyno who put a camera down the 1.2-metre drop but after 20 minutes they still could not free Fang.
On day three, in a last-ditch effort, Mr Sykes came up with the idea of crafting a piece of chicken wire into the shape of a ladder.
He said: "I don't know how but that eventually worked and as he came out I grabbed him and actually told him he was beautiful.
"My children were so happy they were jumping up and down."
Fang has been returned to the safety of his cage, although a temporary roof has been installed while the family buy him a new one.