A scared female fallow deer became trapped in an East Sussex garden just off the busy A22 this morning (Tuesday, February 2).
Whitesmith residents contacted East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) just before 9am after finding the deer caught in a child’s football goal, but when rescuers arrived the deer was running backwards and forwards along the fencing round the garden.
The deer was getting very stressed and rescuers were worried the deer would cause a serious accident on the road if left.
Rescuers Kathy Martyn, Trevor Weeks and Chris Riddington attended on site and set up a “walk-towards” net at one side of the garden and after several attempts managed to encourage the deer to charge into the net.
The capture almost failed when the deer suddenly managed to get free during the few seconds before rescuers could get to and secure the deer.
Luckily Trevor was able to rugby tackle the deer and pin it to the floor allowing rescuers Kathy and Chris to take control, so the deer could be secured to the stretcher.
The deer needed to be carried out of the garden past the busy A22 and down a footpath and out to a field and woods behind the housing where deer are regularly seen.
Once out to a safe location the deer was uncovered and released to run back to the wild.
“I got a message from Trevor just as I was heading to WRAS’s Casualty Centre, so we met Trevor and Kathy there and loaded our ambulance with the necessary equipment and heading the short journey from our Casualty Centre which is also based a Whitesmith, to where the deer was caught,” said Chris.
“It is horrible to see them so stressed but you can’t just rush in without assessing the site and planning the capture, because these rescues are dangerous and you can’t afford for things to go wrong.”
Trevor said, “This was no easy rescue, every time we get called out to these types of rescues there are always different sets of challenges. We were lucky with this deer that it was more cooperative than most in allowing us to carry it down the footpath and out into the field without giving us too much trouble.
Kathy added, “Your heart always race when doing these incidents and as you know you need to get them caught, secured, moved and released as soon as possible or the deer could die from stress and a heart attack.
“You need to have your wits about you as these are dangerous rescues.”
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