Animal rescuers in Britain said a calf was rescued from drowning in a mud pit, thanks to a sharp-eyed tram driver who spotted the bovine in distress.

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The RSPCA said Inspector Ryan King responded to Rochdale, in the Manchester, England, area, after a tram driver contacted the organization to report a calf stuck up to its neck in the mud of a pond that had dried up due to recent hot weather.

"An eagle-eyed tram driver had spotted the poor calf struggling as he drove into the Kingsway Park tram stop on Wednesday morning and alerted us," King said.

King said he arrived to find the calf was weak from struggling to free itself from the mud and was "at risk of drowning."

"I managed to get a towel under his nose to keep his head above the mud and water and make sure he could breathe while I set about freeing him," King said.

He said he ended up climbing into the mud himself to lift the calf to safety.

"I used the towel to feed it under his body and use it as a sling to carefully pull him free and then gently wiggled his legs out as they were stuck fast," he said.

The calf was returned to its home at a nearby farm.

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"We later heard from the farmer that he'd had a bath and bottle of milk and was safe and sound back at home," King said.