The RSPCA and fire service came to the rescue after a hedgehog misjudged his own girth and got himself stuck between the railings of a Newmarket gate.
RSPCA officers were called after a passer-by spotted the prickly mammal squashed inside the metal bars at the entrance to a housing complex on Old Station Road on Sunday June 14. It is believed he had been there overnight.
The hog would never have been able to escape without help, and the fire and rescue service had to be called in to help free the spiky critter.
Firefighters managed to use specialist equipment to widen the bars so he could be lifted out to safety. After an overnight stay with in RSPCA care to ensure he recovered and was unhurt, the hedgehog was returned to the wild.
RSPCA inspector Richard Lythgoe said: “It is hard to imagine how this little thing got himself into such a tight squeeze.
“I can only imagine he misjudged the width of the bars - or perhaps did not see them clearly as hedgehogs are short-sighted.
“He was so firmly wedged inbetween the bars of this gate that the fire crews had to completely stretch them to get him out - and even then all his little spines were squashed down.
“They did a brilliant job, and there’s no way I could have got him out without them. He most definitely wouldn’t have been unable to escape without help.
“I gave him some food and drink, and kept an eye on him, for 36 hours. He seemed to recover completely from his ordeal, so he was released back to the wild - hopefully a little wiser.”