Rescuers free deer caught in electric fencing

A male fallow deer is running free today after volunteer rescues managed to cut him free from being caught in electric fencing on an estate near Robertsbridge in East Sussex.

Yesterday afternoon, volunteers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called by Sussex Police after a member of the public saw the trapped deer whilst walking in the countryside.

Duty Co-ordinator Maz Marriott (Brighton based) from WRAS took the initial call and phoned WRAS Rescue Co-ordinator Trevor Weeks (Uckfield Based) for assistance.

Trevor and Maz drove to the A21 but unfortunately it took quite a while to get into the estate as the intercom at the electric gates was not working. Eventually they managed to gain entry and contact the landowner who allowed the two veterinary ambulances to drive across country to get close to the deer.

"We would have had to walk almost 2 miles from the road in order to get to the deer if we could not drive down" said Maz Marriot.

The deer was caught by its antlers and was running up and down a bank trying to get free but just becoming more and more tangled up.

"Luckily the electrict fencing was not live" said Trevor Weeks.

Maz and Trevor used a special net tried to surround the animal with the net but Trevor was able to gain control of the deer as it tripped on the bottom strand of wire. As soon as the deer was on the floor Trevor jumped over its back and pinned the deer to the floor and gained control the antlers. Maz then assisted Trevor to remove and cut free the eletric fencing from the antlers.

"It took us about 5 minutes to actually cut the fencing and unwrapp it from the antlers" said Trevor.

Maz and other watchers then stood back leaving Trevor to uncover the deers head and stand free, allowing the deer to run off and recover.

"You have to be very careful when dealing with deer, they are strong animals. People often make the mistake of cutting rope or wire away from the deers head without catching the animal. This leaves the animal to run off trailling wire or rope which can then become caught again. We always catch the animal and ensure that all the wire or rope is completely removed to avoid any further incidents" said Trevor.

"When doing wildlife rescue work you have to be able to read an animal and try and second guess what they are going to do, which is not easy as they are as individual as we are. You also need quick reflexes too. When you catch deer you do have to work very close to animals which are running about and there is always a risk" said Trevor.

Trevor ended up in Hospital last year after being hit when trying to help a road casualty deer on the A26 near Lewes, luckily Trevor was not seriously injured.

The fallow deer near Robertsbridge was cut free and ran off up the bank and across the field free. "There is no doubt that this deer would have died if it was not for the members of the public phoning Sussex Police and Sussex Police being kind enough to contact WRAS to help free the deer" said Trevor.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958 (private).

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