MORGANTON, N.C. — A group of mountain bikers on a North Carolina trail spotted a dog trapped 30 feet down in a sinkhole -- and it took a salty snack and some straps to lift him to safety.
The group was riding the Holly Springs Trail in the Pisgah National Forest, just north of Morganton, on Sunday when they encountered the dog, who had apparently been stuck in the hole for several days, according to Burke County Search And Rescue.
The riders called for help and led rescuers more than a mile to the stranded animal, where they repelled into the sinkhole, enticed the starving dog with some beef jerky and raised him to safety using a harness, the rescue squad said.
“Had to win him over with some beef jerky and treats," said rescuer Wes Taylor. “A little scared and very hungry. So once he figured out we were there to help and feed him he went along with it.”
The dog was not injured, but was starving and dehydrated, according to the rescuers.
Channel 9 asked Burke County Animal Control how the animal managed to survive without food and water. They said this week’s cooler temperatures likely played a role.
The dog was taken to Burke County Animal Services for an examination and named “Sinker.”
“We all here at Burke Rescue love animals so we’ll go in just as quick for a lost or injured animal as we would for a person,” Taylor said.
Officials said the dog did not have a collar or a microchip, and if owners are not found, he could be placed up for adoption or transferred to a rescue starting on Thursday.
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