Volunteer rescuers have successfully released yet another stag from netting. The deer was caught in a woodland down Howbourne Lane, Buxted near Uckfield.
WRAS rescuers Trevor Weeks, Tim McKenzie and Arron Banks attended on site within 30 minutes and were led to the entangled deer by local resident Mrs Stern. "On arrival the deer was already very tired and heavily entangled, but luckily only by its antlers." said Trevor.
Once set up and ready Trevor and Tim used a "walk-towards" net to catch the deer, with Arron waiting to cover the head as soon as secure and safe. Once down the deer was pinned to the floor. Tim had the rear, Trevor the check and shoulders and Arron the Antlers and head.
"With the deer under control Trevor and I started cutting away at the netting which was inches thick in places. This is the first deer like this which I have attended with WRAS and I was amazed at how strong the deer was and how difficult it was to remove the netting" said Arron, from Eastbourne.
The rescuers took almost 30 minutes cutting the netting. "Luckily for us one of the antlers had previously been broken and was therefore rather short, but with each layer of netting more followed and the closer you got to the antlers the harder it was to cut it free." said Trevor.
Once the antler were free Tim and Arron backed off to allow Trevor to free the exhausted animal. Uncovering the deers head Trevor jumped backwards and released his hold. "The deer jumped up and just stared at us for a couple of second and then turned and stumbled off into the bushes. It was clear the animal was very tired and exhausted and a bit disoriented and shocked, we kept an eye on the deer for a few minutes as it made its way through the wood and its slowly seemed to recover and gain energy." said Trevor.
The rescuer helped by Mrs Stern decided that the netting was so dangerous they cut it free from the grounded and as there was so much of it they piled it up and covered it with a sheet and blanket and placed logs on top to help stop it from becoming a problem to any other deer. Whilst walking back the rescuers discovered more netting embedded in the ground and even new netting used by farmers to wrap hay bails just dumped in bushes.
"Every year we get called to deer caught in discarded netting or disused electric fencing, which humans just can’t be bothered to clear up. Yet another example of how us humans are lazy and take the easy options out without being accoutable for the consequences" said Trevor.
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) is an entirely voluntary organisation and Trevor had to leave work in order to attend the deer call-out. On average it costs £65 to be on call for and attend a wildlife casualty. Deer are one of the most time consuming casualties and normally cost the most to rescue and treat. In the process of the rescue the "walk-towards" net had to be cut in order to help free the deer as soon as possible. This frequently has to happen on such rescues and replacing these nets cost over £85 a time.
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