Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) had to rushed to Eastbourne Town Centre this morning after a small deer was discovered at the back of a shop.
Whilst staff were out the back of the Coffee Republic shop they inadvertently scared the deer inside the shop. Staff managed to contain the young muntjac deer in the rear section of the shop with the help of local PCSOs until rescuers arrived.
Off duty rescuer Chris Riddington from WRAS was asked to attend due to the urgency of the situation. "Trevor called me asking me to attend, as a loose deer running around inside a store is likely to cause serious injury to members of the public and itself. The staff did the right thing in clearly the back of the store and keeping it contained in the end section of the shop" said Rescuer Chris, "When I arrived they had managed to catch the deer and were pinning it to the floor. Deer can be very unpredictable, so I took over controling the deer till back up arrived."
Trevor Weeks also attended on site with WRAS's Technical Rescue Ambulance "When I arrived Chris already had the deer secured and covered" said Trevor. The deer was clearly very frightened. We needed to get the deer out of the coffee shop without it escaping and causing any further problems. The deer was strapped and secured to a stretcher and carried through the shop and out to a quieter location where it was better assessed. Unfortunately a wound to its tail needed treatment before the deer could be released. "
It is always difficult dealing with deer. You have a very limited time window to get them caught and out for released or into care or they could die of a heart attack.
"The deer was released not far away at the edge of the Downs. "The deer was very wobbly at first but once in the fresh air and after a couple of minutes to compose himself the deer suddenly rocketed off into the distance" said Chris.
"This has to be one of the most unusual deer rescue locations we have ever dealt with" said Trevor. "We have had three deer rescues in the past week. The first at Burwash had half its rear leg missing and had to be put to sleep due to its poor condition. The second was a deer with its antlers caught in electric rope at Waldron which was successfully caught, the netting removed and released and then this muntjac deer in a coffee shop in Eastbourne Town Centre."
Muntjac deer like residential gardens and its not uncommon for them to live in residential areas and will travel along railway lines too. Eastbourne Town Centre has a history of deer visiting, primarily as a result of the Royal Eastbourne Golf Course and the Saffrons area which allows them to get very close to the town centre safely.
Video of Waldron deer being released: https://youtu.be/cj0VBRfjr84