Tuesday saw Cape Town’s mountain rescuers saving Holly, a dog, off of a ledge on the popular hiking trail Lion’s Head.

“The dog was lost yesterday (Monday) when they went hiking on [Lion’s Head],” said Wilderness Safety and Rescue (WSAR) spokesperson Johann Marais.

Holly’s owner, Michelle Hoch, said her and her fiancĂ©, Josh Hayman, decided to take Holly for a long walk on New Year’s Day, instead of a New Year’s Eve party.

The two had planned to enjoy some champagne on the mountain, but Holly was more interested in the dassies.

“We weren’t expecting to see so many dassies and Holly just broke free,” said Michelle.

“The lead went out of my hand. Usually she is very good, but she must have gone running after the dassies.”

When Holly ran off and didn’t return, the couple became worried and began searching for her. They looked for their dog until the sun went down, and again early on Tuesday morning.

Michelle and Josh had adopted the playful mixed breed from DARG animal welfare about 6 months ago.

Eventually they heard Holly whining and looking over a ledge about three stories above them.

An epic rescue operation ensued, even with two private climbers reaching Holly to give her water and check if she was hurt. Holly was brought down to her owners and taken to the vet 31 hours after going missing.

“WSAR operatives, with assistance of SANParks rangers were able to put the dog in a harness on the ledge and lower it to safety. The call was concluded when the dog was reunited with its owner.”

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