Peppa has un­ex­pected trip

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

For more than 30 hours Peppa was stuck in a dark and sandy rab­bit hole – not ideal for a fox ter­rier with sepa­ra­tion anx­i­ety.

But this is a tale with a happy end­ing. It started rou­tinely enough, Ti­tahi Bay res­i­dent Erena Ham­mon out walk­ing three- year- old foxy Peppa along the beach and up near Arnold Park around noon on March 28.

Peppa was let off her lead to for­age in the brush and chase rab­bits.

‘‘It’s not un­usual for her to have a run, I try to keep a close eye on her though,’’ says Ms Ham­mon. ‘‘But af­ter 10 min­utes I couldn’t see her and then I heard a noise like she was say­ing ‘ I’m into some­thing here’. I found a large rab­bit hole she’d shot into, heard some scrap­ing, then noth­ing. It was a bit scary.’’

Af­ter call­ing and call­ing, Ms Ham­mon went home then re­turned with a friend and a spade. She could get her arm into the bur­row but there was no sign of Peppa.

She en­listed the help of vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers but they were afraid dig­ging might trig­ger a col­lapse.

‘‘I was hop­ing she’d got out. Peppa’s a real home body and suf­fers from sepa­ra­tion anx­i­ety, so I was re­ally wor­ried.’’

The next day Ms Ham­mond talked to ev­ery­one she could find at the beach, in the shop­ping cen­tre and around Arnold Park, even hand­ing out fliers with Peppa’s face on the chance she had es­caped.

Re­turn­ing to the hole 31 hours af­ter Peppa’s fate­ful hunt, Porirua City Coun­cil gar­den­ers Nai Green and Colin Clifton hap­pened upon her and of­fered their help. Mr Clif- ton had just started us­ing a flax stick to make the bur­row wider when Peppa shot out, into the wel­com­ing arms of Ms Green. She looked a bit skinny and shaken, but was oth­er­wise fine.

‘‘I was cry­ing, but they were tears of joy,’’ Ms Green says. ‘‘Peppa’s lit­tle eye­lids were cov­ered in sand but she was OK, it was great to see her back with Erena.’’

Peppa’s af­fec­tion for her res­cuers was ob­vi­ous when Kapi-mana News met them last week and Ms Green has vowed to stay in touch with the lit­tle foxy.

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