A rare alligator has been rescued in eastern China after it fell into a hole and was unable to clamber out because its legs were too short, according to a local police report. A man out collecting firewood spotted the reptile on Sunday stuck in a hole in the ground in Jing county in Anhui province, the local police force said in a statement on its Weibo account. Officers were able to lift the alligator to safety. Experts were quoted as saying that the animal had probably starved for at least a month while it was trapped. It has been released back into the wild, the police said. The Chinese, or Yangtze, alligator is native to eastern China. It is one of only two alligator species in the world – the other is the American alligator – and is rated critically endangered on the Red List of endangered species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.