A "Beaconsfield style" rescue mission is currently underway to extricate a large dog stuck underground in a wombat hole on the NSW south coast.
Nowra newspaper The South Coast Register reports a 42-kilogram American Bulldog named Brooklyn has been wedged in a large wombat hole near the town's showground since 1am Wednesday.
The dog, owned by a homeless man who reportedly lives in a tent at the showground, was said to have chased a wombat down the hole and gotten stuck several metres below ground.
Separate rescue attempts were staged early Wednesday morning, through the day on Wednesday and again on Thursday. NSW Ambulance, State Emergency Service, police, council workers and local animal rescue groups have all combined in a rescue effort, but so far to no avail despite using jackhammers.
Brooklyn is thought to be about four metres underground, after scurrying into a long deep burrow. Register journalist Jessica Long has been reporting dutifully from the scene, live-Tweeting rescue attempts and providing video.
Rescuers had become concerned for the dog's safety after it reportedly stopped barking earlier on Thursday morning, but Lindsay Francis of Wildlife Rescue South Coast -- on scene as part of the rescue -- said the dog had been confirmed as still alive a short time ago.
"We can hear him barking so he's still alive. We think he’s gone in the burrow and turned, so we're digging straight down," he told The Huffington Post Australia.
"We think he’s underground about three or four metres. We believe he’s stuck in there, got his back stuck in and can't push with his back legs."
Francis said responders were attempting a "Beaconsfield" rescue, in reference to the Beaconsfield mine collapse in Tasmania where trapped miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell were freed after rescue tunnels were dug to reach them.
"We're digging a vertical hole. We'll come on to or close to him," he said.
There are also fears for the wombat Brooklyn chased into the hole, which has also been stuck in the burrow for two days with no water or food.