Baby Deer Rescued From Underground Flooded Hole.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) received a call this morning after a resident in Blackboys could hear a deer struggling in some bushes and screaming and thought it was stuck in a small river so they called WRAS for help.

WRAS’s main technical rescue ambulance was already busy so WRAS asked a local Deer Warden to attend and assess the situation and help out where possible.  Unfortunately the situation proved to be more difficult than first thought and James and Heidi Butcher asked WRAS for additional help. WRAS’s founder Trevor Weeks MBE and experienced rescuer Ellie Langridge attended on site in one of WRAS’s emergency response ambulances.

The very young baby fallow deer was about 3ft down a hole in an underground channel in the rock inside the bank of a small river. The underground passage was flooded and earth had collapsed down inside and the deer is thought to have fallen in.  The deer had no way of escaping and would have died if the residents had not heard the deer’s distressed calls.

Trevor climbed down the back of the stream onto some rocks and an old weir  and attempted to reach down to the deer.  Ellie waited at the second hole in case it moved in her direction.  The frightened deer started screaming and jumping trying to get out which allowed Trevor to grab the top of the front legs and chest, meaning he could lift the deer up and out of the hole. In the process of trying to grab the deer Trevor slipped bruising a rib on the stone embankment. Not wanting to let the deer go, Trevor regained his footing and lifted the deer up and out so he could hold the deer securely against his chest, allowing Ellie to cover the baby’s head with a pillow case to help reduce stress.

The spotty baby looking very much like “Bambi”, was taken out into the fresh air and sun shine, to be dried off and checked over.

Luckily a very worried mum had been seen several times by the residents and James and Heidi whilst on site so it was decided best to attempt to reunite the baby with its mum.  Luckily mother deer don’t abandon their babies very easily, but to ensure the human scent didn’t put mum off, rescuers rubbed earth over the deer’s body to remove any unusual smells.

The baby was placed next to some bushes, where it had plenty of cover, close to where the mum was last seen to help reunite them and rescuers quickly backed off and then left the area.

The residents and rescuers will keep a close eye on the area to ensure the baby is not abandoned and doesn’t get into further trouble.

East Sussex WRAS is one of the biggest wildlife hospitals in the South East and has plans to build a new Casualty Centre in the heart of East Sussex and has some funds already put aside to help with this. The charity currently need an extra £150,000 to hit its first target so they can procure land and start the next step in establishing a new centre, but this will be just the first stage in the work. The final costs of buying land, building a centre, installing veterinary caging and equipment, building and erecting outdoor facilities as well as installing utilities and the planning and development is expecting to eventually costs in the region of £2-3 million.

Anyone interested in donating to help can make a donation at:

Or post a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford BN25 9DE.

Untitled media version of the video is available here, must be credited to East Sussex WRAS, and is free for use by local media to East Sussex England only. For all other use please contact East Sussex WRAS on 01825-873003.

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