A team of firefighters had to be called in to rescue a "heavily pregnant cow" that got stuck in a water-filled ditch in England over the weekend.

The incident occurred on Sunday (August 30) in the English county of Somerset, on a farm in Taunton, according to the local fire service, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

This led to a rescue operation which lasted almost four hours and involved the use of a telehandler to lift the animal clear.

The fire service received a report of a cow in a water-filled ditch at Taunton at 8:51pm on Sunday evening.

In  a statement on the matter, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "Fire control immediately mobilised a duty officer to assess the scene.

"The officer requested the attendance of the special rescue team from Exmouth to attend, a fire appliance from Taunton and another duty officer to attend this incident.

The incident commander confirmed one heavily pregnant cow was trapped in a water-filled ditch. The water was approximately 4ft deep and down a steep bank.

The statement noted that the incident commander requested the attendance of the Urban Search And Rescue Telehandler to assist on the job.

"Whilst the crews waited for the arrival of the telehandler they started to formulate a plan and set up specialist rescue equipment and lighting. The farmer was in attendance and the cow was not in distress.

"At 12:45am the cow was rescued from the ditch using the telehandler. The duty of care was left with the farmer," the statement concluded.