Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A team of spelunkers working to map a Missouri cave ended up rescuing a dog that may have been lost underground for up to two months.
Rick Haley and Gerry Keene, who led the team working to map the Berome Moore cave for the Cave Research Foundation, said they encountered the lost canine about 200 feet inside the main passage of the cave, located north of Perrysville.
The caving team, who were alerted to the presence of the dog by firefighters who had been contacted by another group of cavers, used a duffle bag and blankets to protect the dog during the difficult climb out of the cave.
Haley said in a Facebook post that the rescue was a "very tight, awkward, vertical climb, handing her hand to hand upward to the surface."
The dog, who was malnourished but uninjured, was identified as Abby, a canine that had been missing since June 9, meaning she might have been lost in the cave for two months. Haley said he found paw prints near a cave entrance in a 12-foot-deep pit, indicating it was likely where Abby ended up underground.
Berome Moore is the second largest cave in Missouri, and it believed by the Missouri Caves and Karst Conservancy to be about 21 miles long.