LIHUE-KOLOA FOREST RESERVE, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 1-year-old hunting dog named “Orange” fell into 81-foot deep hole in the Koloa section of the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve last Saturday.
Fortunately, his owner, Tarvan Orsatelli, had a GPS tracker on him and was able to locate him quickly.
Over the past five days, Orsatelli, friends and family members lowered food and water into the hole while trying to figure out how to extract him.
They knew Orange was alive due to the occasional whimpers or howls they’d hear from him.
It’s believed the vertical, tubular-shaped cavern is part of an old water irrigation system.
Initially the Kauai Fire Dept was called to help, but with ladders only 25-feet long that rescue plan was quickly scraped.
That’s when botanist Adam Williams and his boss, Sheri S. Mann, entered the picture. They work for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
Since the hole is on DOFAW land, Mann and her team began thinking about what they could do to help.
On Thursday morning, after they surveyed the scene, it was decided it would be safe to send Williams, an experienced climber, into the hole to rescue Orange.
With a half dozen people watching from above, Williams rigged his climbing gear, tied off to a stout guava tree and began lowering himself down.
For safety, he carried a radio and air monitoring device to the bottom with him.
Within a few minutes, Williams stepped onto the bottom and found a pooch very excited to see him.
He said, “He was really happy to see me, after he got over the shock of being down in a hole for a week.”
Williams bundled Orange into a small canvas bag and a couple of men up top began slowly pulling him to safety.
Williams said he could see him kicking the sides of the duffel but once on top, Orange quickly exited the bag, shook himself off and seemed a little perplexed by the small crowd on hand to witness his return to terra firma.
Orsatelli says Orange has a few scrapes, clearly lost some weight during his ordeal, but was not much worse for the wear after tumbling into the deep shaft.
Animal control officer Kewehi Harris of the Kauai Humane Society was on hand to take Orange in to be checked by a veterinarian.
Like all who witnessed Thursday’s rescue she was impressed with the dogs relatively good condition.