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Pictures of fat rat trapped in manhole cover captures hearts of Europe

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Pictures of fat rat trapped in manhole cover captures hearts of Europe
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Facebook/Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar
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A German rat has captured the hearts of Europe after being pictured in need of assistance on Sunday, when it found itself stuck in a manhole cover in Bensheim.

Volunteer firefighters and an animal rescue organisation were called to help the critter escape its entrapment, later confirming it had been "released unharmed."

The volunteer fire service also posted a picture showing its response to the unique call, demonstrating an expert rescue attempt.

While the incident was minor, the photos of the fat rat sparked a flood of reaction from people across Europe who had taken to the oversized creature.

"Well done - a good team effort and kindness shown to animal in distress," was just one message from the UK.

A Romanian Facebook user wrote: "Well done! Thanks for showing the world what unconditional kindness means!"

"Thank you for saving this little heart; best regards from Turkey," another said.

The animal rescue organisation involved in the rat's escape eventually responded to its inundation of congratulatory messages.

"We are honoured and happy about this high sympathy for the rescue of the rat in Bensheim," the organisation wrote.

"We, as well as the voluntary fire brigade, are more than just amazed how many media portals - even international - have reported about it, where we all actually did our work."

"But what was really nice to us is the innumerable many positive mails we got."