AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) — You have all probably heard stories about firefighters ‘rescuing’ animals from treetops. Well, one fire department in Texas had a call a lot closer to the ground, involving a squirrel hanging out of a tree knothole.

Somehow the squirrel got its head stuck and was left with its top half wedged inside the tree, and its tail and hind legs dangling out.

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In a social media post, the Austin Fire Department said, “We’ve gotten lots of animals out of trees before, but this may be the first time we’ve literally gotten an animal OUT of a tree.”

(credit: Austin Fire Department)

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It happened just a few hours before April Fool’s Day, but the department made it clear it wasn’t a joke. Firefighters said someone called 911 very concerned that the animal had been stuck for quite some time. They said if the squirrel had been left unaided it surely would have died from starvation, exposure to the elements, or from predator.

But firefighters arrived quickly and after about two minutes of work freed the squirrel which quickly fled the scene — without giving any identifying information.

The first responders gave a special shoutout to firefighters Steve Slaughter and Shane Burton, who saved the squirrel from the uncertain fate.

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The department said, “We’re always going to be there to come to the rescue of those who need it, whether they’ve got two legs or four.” Staff