Heartwarming Footage Shows Firefighters Save Puppies Stuck in Tortoise Den

Firefighters rescued two curious puppies that broke into a tortoise den and were prevented from leaving by Oscar, a huge 100-pound tortoise blocking the exit.

The rescue operation took place at a home in Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County, California.

Tortoise den
Firefighters rescue two 5-month-old puppies, named Finn and Poe, stuck in a 100-pound tortoise's den, in Yucca Valley, California, USA, on June 19. The authorities initially tried to use watermelon to lure the tortoise out of the way. Zenger/San Bernardino County Fire

San Bernardino County Fire Department said two 5-month-old puppies made their way into the tortoise den and were prevented from leaving by Oscar.

The 100-pound tortoise blocked the pups' exit out of the den and firefighters were called to dig them out.

After all attempts to coax Oscar out of the way with watermelon pieces proved, well, fruitless, firefighters spent over an hour digging a tunnel to the dogs' position.

The two pooches, named Peo and Finn, were then reunited with their concerned owner Kathleen.

The footage shows the fire team arriving on the scene and trying to coax Oscar out of the hole with the watermelon. Firefighters then dig the tunnel into the den and rescue the two dogs as Kathleen eggs them on.

Hole
Firefighters rescue two 5-month-old puppies, named Finn and Poe, stuck in a 100-pound tortoise's den, in Yucca Valley, California, USA, on June 19. The firefighters dug a tunnel into the den to rescue the two pups. Zenger/San Bernardino County Fire

San Bernardino County Fire Department said on June 22: "Fire crews were requested for a unique public service call in Yucca Valley.

"Two curious five-month-old puppies had made their way into a tortoise den and were unable to exit due to a 100 lb tortoise blocking their exit. Residents were worried as the dogs had been in the den for multiple hours and were silent.

"SBCoFD ME42 & MA42 arrived to find a large underground tortoise den with two puppies inside and a 100-lb tortoise blocking the exit.

"Firefighters attempted to coax Oscar, a large desert tortoise from its den, so firefighters could get to the puppies. Crews used a tasty watermelon treat to attempt to coax the tortoise from the den.

"The tasty watermelon trick was unsuccessful and firefighters went to plan B, digging.

"With Oscar blocking the exit, crews worked to dig an access hole to rescue the dogs. After an hour of digging crews were able to get the puppies out of the den.

"Peo and Finn were unharmed and happy to reunite with their dog mom Kathleen."

The police added: "We are glad we could assist with this unique call and there was such a positive outcome!"

Last weekend, rescuers in Tennessee spent three hours freeing a dog named Killer after he fell into a "deep" sinkhole. A rescue team member was lowered in the sinkhole with special equipment and managed to find the dog, who Hawkins County Rescue Squad said was "very excited to see him."

And earlier this year, Newsweek reported on a golden retriever who was rescued by firefighters in Illinois after it fell into a sinkhole. The dog had been missing for 24 hours.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.