FIREFIGHTERS successfully rescued a heavily pregnant cow after it found itself trapped in the water.

Crews were sent to the Kennet and Avon Canal near Thatcham following reports of an animal stuck in the reed bed.

The cow was distressed and had her front legs caught in two feet of water, but teams battled through the cold conditions to help it.

On the afternoon of February 3, the team from Newbury put their training to good use and successfully pulled it from the water.

Alan Battman, station manager, said: "Our highly-trained and well-equipped crew responded well in challenging conditions.

"The service attended this incident to primarily ensure public safety and provide aid to an animal in distress.

"We are committed to the wellbeing of our communities and we worked with the farmer to protect one of their valuable assets."

The crew entered the water and dug the cow out of the reed bed by hand. Suffering from exhaustion, the cow could not stand up, so the crew had to work hard to keep her head above water.

As the temperature was still low, the water in the canal was starting to freeze, meaning that firefighters could not spend too long in the water.

It was also starting to get dark, so crews decided the best option was to use force to try and pull the cow from the water.

After just over an hour, firefighters were successful in bringing the cow safely onto land. She was clearly drained but no doubt delighted to be out of the water and back with her owner.