Dramatic Deer Rescue

A young deer in British Columbia is lucky to be alive thanks to the timely rescue efforts of a group of firefighters and conservation officers. The deer must have been crossing the frozen lake in Nanaimo when a patch of ice broke under it, leaving it trapped in the freezing water and unable to scramble back onto solid ice. Fortunately, for the deer, local humans noticed his struggle and were able to accomplish a dramatic rescue.

Deer spotted in frozen lake

A pair of hikers at Westwood Lake in Nanaimo, British Columbia spotted something moving in the middle of the icy lake on the afternoon of January 25.

Nanaimo is a relatively small city located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The creatively named Westwood Lake is located in the woods on the western edge of town.

A closer look revealed that there was a head bobbing up and down and, using the camera on her phone, one of the hikers realized that it was a deer.

The animal was clearly in a very hazardous situation, so the hikers called 911 and were able to inform  Nanaimo Fire Rescue and the BC Conservation Officer Service.

Only ten minutes later, eight firefighters arrived with a boat, joined by two conservation officers. The rescuers immediately realized that saving the animal would be a challenge.

The assistant fire chief confessed that the crews had never trained for rescuing deer, but pointed out that their long hours of water rescue training for humans could be put to good use here.

Fished out just in time

The plan initially was to break up enough ice to give the deer a chance to get back to shore, but the target of the rescue proved to be somewhat uncooperative.

The confused and freezing animal was unwilling or unable to swim back to the shore on its own, so the firefighters and conservation officers decided it would have to be carried back.

The rescuers were able to fish the deer out of the water and move him into the bow of the boat, where he laid still while they returned to the boat dock.

The conservation officers took over and wrapped the deer in a blanket on shore. He was still too cold to move around much after his ordeal in the lake.

After having a chance to thaw out, the deer got up and began to slowly move. With no injuries, it was just a matter of waiting until his strength returned.

Eventually, he was able to completely recover and ran back into the woods, where the firefighters hope that he is once again living a “happy little deer life.”

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