Two RSPCA inspectors came to the rescue of a ram who got stuck in the mud in Buckinghamshire this week.

Inspectors Jaime Godfrey and Lauren Bailey were called to a farm in Thornborough, Buckingham, on 15 March by a dog walker who spotted a sheep in difficulty.

Inspector Godfrey said: “We were called to the scene by a member of the public who was alerted to the sheep by a strange sound and then saw him struggling in the mud.”

The prize-winning New Zealand Sussex ram was stuck fast in around two foot of mud and was exhausted from battling to free himself.

“His legs were stuck deep in the mud and he’d clearly been struggling for a while,” inspector Godfrey added. “His face was covered in mud.

“I managed to get hold of the farmer who immediately came out to the field.

“It took all of our strength, heaving together to prize him out. We had to lift him straight up to ensure we didn’t hurt him and, in doing so, the mud came over our boots. We then had to pull each other out of the mud as we each became stuck ourselves.”

Once the sheep was released and given a clean bill of health, he was taken back to the farm to be cleaned and warmed up. The farmer kept him inside in the warm while he recovered from his ordeal.

“He was exhausted and couldn’t stand up,” inspector Godfrey added. “But he was lucky to have been spotted and saved without any major injuries. If he’d been stuck out there much longer he could well have died.”

The sheep – a £1,000 ram – had recently been purchased for breeding.