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September 15, 2014 5:26 pm

Israeli Emergency Services Rescue Dog Who Fell From Desert Cliff

avatar by Dave Bender

Mitzpe Ramon Crater and Visitors Center lookout. Photo: Dave Bender

Mitzpe Ramon Crater and Visitors Center lookout. Photo: Dave Bender.

Deep in the inhospitable Negev Desert, an expert Israeli medical rescue team on Sunday saved the life of a dog that had fallen 30 meters off a cliff into the Mitzpe Ramon crater, Israel’s Walla News reported.

Simba was out on a walk with her owner, Eyal, along the edge of the dramatic cliff (photo), when she slipped on stones and suddenly tumbled down the steep incline, coming to a painful halt at the bottom of one of the dry riverbeds below.

Another hiker who witnessed the fall, quickly called the rescue unit, who soon arrived.

Volunteers with the “Negev Highlands Regional Rescue” United Hazalah EMS unit are familiar with rescuing stranded and dehydrated hikers and others unfamiliar with the rocky, jagged terrain, and are also trained in rappelling (“snappling”).

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Paramedic and injured dog. Photo: Israel Rescue Union

Paramedic and injured dog. Photo: United Hatzalah.

Chief paramedic, Adam Sela, said his team were unfamiliar with how to treat the injured animal, who they rappelled down to find, “in trauma and whimpering in pain,” and were unsure of the extent of its injuries.

Sela called a veterinarian to find out what dose of painkiller to use to ease the animal’s discomfort, and to keep it sedated enough not to jump out of the rescue basket they planned to use to haul it back up to the top of the cliff.

Maneuvering the rescue basket “we climbed up a steep incline, in the middle of a very hot day,” Seal recalled, adding that they were encouraged by Eyal, at the top, cheering them on.

Simba was evacuated to a veterinary hospital in Beersheba, where she was found to have suffered a hip injury and was bleeding internally; vets said she got off easy, considering the fall and rough terrain.

While they didn’t have to operate, Simba will need time and further treatment to overcome her injuries, the vets said.

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