A botanist in Kauai, Hawaii, put skills he honed climbing trees and cliffs in search of rare plants to a different use on November 7 when he rappelled down an 81-foot-deep shaft to rescue a dog.
Adam Williams, a botanist with the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, rappelled down the pit, in the Koloa section of the Lihu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve, to rescue a one-year-old Catahoula mix, Orange, which had been stuck in the pit since Saturday, November 2.
Orange’s owner, Tarvan Orsatelli, had a GPS tracker on the dog, which allowed him to be located. But that was only the first step in his rescue. For five days, Orsatelli, along with friends and family members, lowered food and water into the hole while trying to figure out how to get the dog out.
The Kauai Fire Department was initially called to help, but their ladders were only 25 feet long. Eventually, Williams was brought in to help.
“Thank you everybody who came and helped,” Orsatelli said in a video clip of the rescue. “He lost some weight. He’s been here for a week but he’s pretty good for falling 80 feet and never broke any bones… Thank you everybody. Aloha.”
Orange was checked by a veterinarian and found to be in “relatively good condition”. Credit: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via Storyful