Dangerous deer rescue near Uckfield

Rescuers were called out to a potentially dangerous deer rescue in a field at Cackle Street, near Uckfield, East Sussex on Saturday (28th July 2012) night. The deer would have starved to death if rescuers had not found the deer and helped it in time.

Volunteer rescuers from Polegate, Uckfield and Chelwood Gate rushed to the aid of an adult male fallow deer with its antlers caught in electric rope. "When we received the call it was clear from the caller that deer was seriously stuck and in need of urgent help. This is the second deer which we have had to rescue at this location caught in rope. When we arrived the deer was exhausted and had been running back and forth trying to get free but sadly just getting more and more entangled. The deer would try running away and then flip over and land on his back quite violently as the rope reached its limit. It was very distressing to see, but as a rescuer you have to put your emotions aside and concentrate on the job at hand" explained rescuer co-ordinator Trevor Weeks MBE.

These rescues are potentially very dangerous as deer are very strong animals, and can cause serious injury if not handled correctly.

Rescuers Tony and Trevor approached the deer using a special "walk-to-wards" net, which is similar to a tennis court net. They approached the deer and by going either side of the animal, which then challenges the net and becomes caught, rescuers were then able to pin the deer to the floor and start cutting the rope from the antlers.

"All these cases must be cut free within 30 minutes or the deer is likely to be so stressed that it will end up having a heart attack. This was a youngish male so the antlers were not very big and therefore easier to remove the rope. I used my weight to pin the deer to the floor whilst rescuers Tony and Chris started cutting the rope assisted by Kathy and Sylvia. The velvet skin which covers the antlers at this time of year, had been damaged and there were thousands of maggots crawling over the antlers. We had to clear these and treat the deer before we could release him. As the guys were cutting away the rope they were accidentally flicking maggots about, many of which seemed to be landing on me! Tony and Chris did really well, and the wounds were washed with medication to kill off any remaining maggots and prevent flies from laying any more" said Trevor.

Once everyone was clear of the deer, and the net and rope cleared free, Trevor was able to slide backwards and off the deer which quickly launched itself up and charged across the field.

"We were all so pleased to see him run off. These rescues always make your heart race, as the time ticks away and you don't want the poor creature to suffer or die. We can only provide this service thanks to the donations and funding we received from members of the public, anyone wanting to help donate to our charity can call 01825 873003 or make a donation online

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003 or 07931 523958

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