Deer Rescued from Seaford Seafront

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) received an unusual call which at first they thought was going to be a hoax. Sussex Police phoned at midday on Saturday reporting that a deer had been seen on the beach near Seaford sailing club.

"I jumped in my ambulance and headed in that direction only to receive two more calls about this deer which had been swimming out in the sea! This was getting more and more bizarre. Whilst searching along the sea front at Seaford, I received another call to say the deer had traveled along the beach and was almost up to the Martello Tower getting closer to Seaford Town, but now the deer had crossed the road and had jumped over a small wall and fallen 30ft into a basement courtyard" said Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS.

On arrival several people were looking over the wall at the deer which was now lying on the patio traumatized. WRAS then received a call from the RSPCA saying they were we aware of the deer and that they were on route too. Knowing how lively and difficult deer can be to handle the rescuer felt it best to ask for a vet to attend onsite. Unfortunately local vets were not available so Veterinary Surgeon Rosario Gutierrez from Horsebridge Vets was asked to attend as she has experience of dealing with deer.

"We decided to leave the deer in the courtyard to rest as we knew that as soon as we touch the deer its stress levels would increase rapidly and could possible die from stress. So it was felt best to let the deer rest until the vet and rescue team were all in position and ready to deal with the deer" said Trevor.

"Trevor and I climbed down the stairs followed by WRAS volunteer Kevin Harlow and the RSPCA Inspector. The deer luckily stayed fairly still until we were close and Murrae and I managed to catch the deer without too much fuss and stress. Rosario then come down and sedated the deer and gave medication on site to help with the transportation" said WRAS director Murrae Hume.

The deer was lifted onto the stretcher and carried up the steps to the WRAS ambulance. Trevor traveled in the back with the deer whilst Kevin drove the van to Horsebridge for further assessment and treatment.

At the vets the deer was hypothermic and needed to be gently warmed up. He also had a broken antler too, which need to be fixed.

"Rosario helped secure the antler in place and treat the deer for hypotermia, which is difficult as their fur seems to soak up the water, which proved difficult to remove. The deer was given several x-rays to check for fractures and there were luckily none. However Rosario was a unsure about the condition of the lungs." said Trevor.

The deer was settle down for the night, but unfortunately died. It is possible the deer had lung problems and was generally run down and weak from the whole traumatic event of being frightened of people and dogs on the beach and falling into the basement.

"Deer are notoriously difficult to handle and deal with and the males are even more difficult than the females. We tried our best but it was not to be on this occasion" said Trevor, "we could really do with some better facilities down here for dealing with the rehabilitation of deer, but they are costly and expensive to fund. We hope that our unit at Horsebridge will eventually have some purpose built facilities just for deer casualties."

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue - 07931 523958 (private).

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