A cat who had been missing for six weeks has been rescued from a canal overflow drain by the RSPCA.
Simba was spotted by a member of the public inside a pipe above the waterline on the canal near Guide Bridge Railway Station in Audenshaw.
The RSPCA and firefighters tried to rescue the cat but every time they got close, sneaky Simba ran back into the pipe and out of reach.
After several unsuccessful attempts, the RSPCA decided to return the following day with a new plan to rescue the poor cat.
Animal Welfare Officer Steve Wickham said: “We managed to put together a makeshift floating platform and tied a cat trap on to it so we could float it across the canal.”
After standing in the cold canal water for approximately 40 minutes, Steve was able to lure the cat out with some tasty treats and then managed to grab Simba and pop him in the trap before wading back across the water to safety.
Two-year-old Simba has now been reunited with his owner, Sajida Raza, who said: “I love Simba. He’s like my own baby so it was really sad when he was missing. More and more time was passing and I was losing hope. I was just about to go out and do the shopping when I got the call from the RSPCA to say they had Simba. I was desperate to see him!”
Although Simba was missing for six weeks, it is unknown how long he was in the pipe for.
Sajida said: “He’s very weak and quite bony. He clearly hasn’t eaten much for a long time. I’ve got him his favourite food and I’m sure we can build up his strength soon.”
Steve said: “Luckily for this little fella, he was microchipped and his owners had registered him missing on the microchip, so we were able to reunite Simba with his family that same day. This was a creative rescue with a fantastic happy ending!”
Anyone wishing to help the RSPCA can donate at www.rspca.org.uk/covid