More than 40 rescuers including firefighters, coastguards and Royal Marines spent five hours and £6,000 rescuing – a stranded pony.
The massive operation was launched after the animal somehow managed to clamber 230ft (70m) down a sheer rock face.
It then became stuck on a cliff edge 100ft (30m) above the sea – where it sat for four days.
Locals tried to lure the petrified moorland pony down but it repeatedly refused to budge and rescuers were scrambled.
Emergency crews began by lowering two firefighters and an RSPCA officer down the cliff face at Rame Head in Torpoint, Cornwall.
They were able to coax it down but with no way of getting it back up the cliff, firemen lowered a vet down to the beach who sedated the pony.
A Royal Marine landing craft was then called in from Devonport in Devon to pick up the animal and its rescuers.
A spokeswoman for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters were there to help animals as well as humans.
She said: “Some people might ask if this is a good use of resources, but there were no other incidents involving human beings going on at the time.
“Operations like this are also a fantastic training exercise.”
It remains a mystery how the pony managed to slip down the rocky cliff face without suffering any injuries.
The Royal Marines confirmed they took part in rescuing the stricken pony.
A spokesman said: ”The Maritime Coastguard Coast Agency called for the assistance of the Royal Marines because it did not have a craft available to get onto the remote beach.
”The duty crew responded with a landing craft vehicle, personnel and an off-shore raiding craft. This scenario demonstrates the flexibility offered by the Royal Marines.
”Getting the call during a routine training exercise, the crews where able to quickly and effectively re-role and provide amphibious expertise to a situation which required deftness and flexibility as there is no standard procedure for this activity so the crews had to react to the situation as they saw it.”
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