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Recently tourists who were visiting Kimberley's Big Hole in South Africa spotted a dog in distress who had fallen down into the hole. Kimberley's Big Hole is a no longer used diamond mine and is 42 acres in dimension and a cliff drop of 700 feet (200 meters), which is roughly the height of a 50 storey building. The tourist guides apparently called rescue organizations to let them know of the dog's plight.
Kobus de Jonge posted on social media with, "I'm a tourist guide and was at the Big Hole last Wednesday. One of the guides at the hole mentioned that this dog fell in the hole last Friday and was still alive. I phoned Jaco Powell from Cape Fox Tours, a tourist guide friend and well known person from Kimberley and told him what happened. He phoned the SABC, SPCA, etc. Eventually they all pitched up - Police Rescue included. This dog HAD to be saved as she fought for her life since last Friday."
Several attempts were made to get the dog out but they were futile. The emergency rescuers that first attempted to rescue her had trouble because the ground was very unstable and the ropes were not long enough to reach the dog. Police also tried using a helicopter, but again the ropes were not long enough to safely reach the dog and conditions were not safe.
The dog was nicknamed, "Underdog" and food was thrown down the hole to keep her alive but as the days passed the hopes of saving her dimmed. Then on Saturday, ER24, a private emergency rescue company, sent a team of 7 rescuers down the hole to attempt to get the dog out. They used a special system of ropes and pulleys and lowered the team down.
At first the dog was afraid to come to them until Warrant officer John Sealy (from the police K9 Rescue Unit) managed to gently coax her over with kind words. He was able to get a leash around Underdog's neck and she calmed down as soon as he touched her.
John then swam with Underdog across the reservoir. Underdog had a life vest on, but it was so heavy and she soon became exhausted. So John held onto her while swimming her back to where they both could be pulled up to safety. She was finally rescued and once successfully pulled out of the hole, they renamed her "Topdog". The ER24 team are being called heroes and are being congratulated for their efforts.