A lamb has been rescued from a deep crack by geologists mapping newly discovered faultlines in Canterbury.

Students and staff from the University of Canterbury were walking over farmland north of Waiau in the quake-ravaged region when they found the lamb.

Geological Sciences professor Dr Clark Fenton said the five-strong team was tracing where new faults had torn and ripped through the earth when they stumbled across a lamb in strife.

Paddocks on the farm had been left with deep tears and fissures more than 2m wide and 1.5m deep.

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While walking along one of the fault traces members of the team spotted the baby animal trapped in a 1.5m deep fissure.

Deep fissures and cracks have opened up across Canterbury after last Monday's 7.8 earthquake. Photo / Supplied
Deep fissures and cracks have opened up across Canterbury after last Monday's 7.8 earthquake. Photo / Supplied

The team set about rescuing the stricken animal, which had no way of getting out of the fissure on its own.

The latest heartwarming animal rescue comes after a trio of cattle, including a calf, were filmed marooned on a small grass island, their paddock collapsed around them. The animals eventually made their way down to join the rest of the herd after a farmer dug a trench.

The footage captured international headlines with concern focusing on the plight of the "quake cows". Those troubled by their fate included Australian TV celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown and animal rights organisation Peta.

Fenton said the team was carrying out reconnaissance investigations into the vast new complex zone of faults after last week's 7.8 Kaikoura quake.

It was focusing on the North Culverden Basin and along the Inland Rd as far as Mt Lyford and aimed to carry out a detailed survey of the newly found faults.