A 20-year-old, half-ton bull on the verge of drowning in a Palm River, Florida, pond got a life-saving boost from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department deputies and firefighters on Friday morning.
He was first noticed by a man mowing the grass. Deputy Christina Ammons arrived and found the exhausted bull in the pond, stuck in the mud and its head barely above the water. The 19-year veteran officer jumped in and held the bull's head up while another deputy looked out for alligators, WUSF-TV reports.
"I saw big nostrils going underwater and staying underwater with water blowing out," Ammons said. An animal lover herself, she didn't hesitate to jump into the retention pond to rescue the bull. "I stripped everything off that the sheriff's office really cares about," she joked. "And then I got in."
For the next three hours, Ammons and her partners kept holding the bull's head above the water's surface as Hillsborough County Fire Rescue brought a truck with a winch and slowly attached the bull to several straps. Slowly but surely, the winch tugged the big guy to safety.
"I'm amazed that the deputy was able to hold his head up out of that water. "You're looking at several hundred pounds," said Charles Cochran, the bull's owner.
Despite nearly drowning and the stress of the rescue, the bull seemed to be doing well. After a couple of hours of resting on the grass, he managed to regain his feet and walk back and joined the other cattle grazing by the pond. He is expected to make a full recovery.