The 13-year-old ass, named Nilo, fell into the uncovered manhole in a playground in the town of Pratteln and became stuck, cantonal police said on Monday.
The incident occurred on Saturday when passerby Bruno Schneider noticed the agitated animal with his head and two front feet sticking out of the ground.
Schnedier contacted the police who in turn alerted the fire department, according to a report from the Basler Zeitung newspaper.
It took a team of firefighters to lift the donkey delicately to safety.
His hind legs were stuck in the piping below.
Police said the donkey suffered a few “flesh wounds” that were quickly attended to but the animal was largely unharmed.
Spokesman Meinrad Stoeklin said Nilo responded in an exemplary way to the rescue.
“He was very cool,” Stoeklin told local media.
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The cantonal force said the circumstances that led to the donkey falling into the manhole - and why the cover was removed - are the subject of an ongoing investigation.
Nilo, meantime, has returned to his home in a petting zoo for children apparently none the worse for wear.
Nilo after the rescue.Photos: Basel-Country cantonal police