Selby firefighters rescue rabbit from behind dashboard of van after great escape

Firefighters and the RSPCA were called out to rescue the rabbit - which has now been named in their honour.

The rabbit was stuck tight behind the dashboard

The animal escaped from her hutch while she was being driven to her new home and ran to hide in a hole in the carpet where the automatic van’s clutch would be.

Owner Mark Hyde, 51, from Selby, North Yorkshire, called the RSPCA for help on Monday night.

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Inspector Claire Mitchell could feel the rabbit was out of reach and left food in the hope of enticing her out.

The rabbit was returned, unscathed, to his delighted owner

But the escape artist was still stuck on Tuesday morning, so rescue officer Leanne Honess-Heather was sent to the scene and called for help from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

She said: “There was no way to get hold of this rabbit because of the tight space she was in and she was so high up.

“I think I would have had more of a chance pulling a rabbit out of a magician’s hat.

“So I called the fire service and a crew from Selby were able to quickly take off the dashboard while also shutting off any further escape routes – and she was finally caught and handed back to her delighted owner.”

Mr Hyde will now name his pet Claire-Leanne in honour of the RSCPA officers who came out to help, and her male companion will be named Grant after the firefighter who rescued her.

He said: “I just couldn’t believe how she managed to get up there – but am so happy that she was unscathed from her ordeal.”