Prime Minister David Cameron is no stranger to the metaphorical swamp of British politics. Now he’s experienced the real thing.
Cameron was returning from visiting a farm near his weekend home outside London when he spotted a distressed sheep that became stuck in heavy mud after following her two lambs.
The politician waded into the muck — accompanied by two police bodyguards — and managed to wrestle the distraught ewe out onto dry land.
“When I got there, David was in the swamp, waist-deep in mud, along with the two police, who had all gone in there to help drag this sheep out,” farmer Julian Tustian told the Daily Telegraph, adding that the Prime Minster “was covered in mud, he looked a mess.”
The daring rescue took place on March 1 in the Oxfordshire countryside immediately west of London; a spokesperson for Downing Street confirmed the incident to Reuters. The sheep has since been nicknamed Swampy and has now fully recovered, although her two lambs sadly did not survive the ordeal.
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The incident came to light when Cameron was speaking at the Mum of the Year awards at the Prime Minister’s official residence, 10 Downing Street. When asked what other profession he might consider instead of politics, Cameron spoke of the pleasure he took from helping out on a nearby farm.
“Well, I helped my neighbor with his lambing one weekend, and that gave me more pleasure than anything I’ve done for a long time,” he said, according to the Daily Express. “I’m not saying I’m going to be a farmer, but I do love the countryside.”
Animals have been suffering from unseasonably cold weather in the U.K. this year that has delayed the start of spring, reports the BBC. Cameron, meanwhile, was probably grateful for the distraction: his Conservative Party’s coalition with the Liberal Democrats is fractious, and his government faces mounting opposition to unpopular austerity measures.