Today WRAS attended yet another deer with antlers entangled in electric rope. This time off Nursery Lane, between Blackboys and Cross-In-Hand. The adult fallow buck had the electric rope well entangled round its antlers along with a plastic stake which had become strapped to the antlers and dragging a large quantity of electric rope with two large wooden fence posts attached.
Rescuers Ellie, Thea, Sandra, Keith and Trevor attended on site and it quickly became apparent that the walk-towards nets were not of much use. Trevor carefully chose his moment and used a leg grab to gain control of the deer allowing Keith to jump onto the shoulders and control the antlers. Due to the size of the deer, Sandra sat on the pelvis to help keep control. Thea and Ellie used specialist scissors to cut the electric rope, which was tightly twisted round the antlers making it difficult to cut. Although the whole process of capture, and cutting the deer free, through to release was less than 15 minutes, rescues felt as if it was taking ages to cut through the vast amount of rope. There must have been around 100 metres of electric fencing if not more.
Once the rope was free, the release was going to be problematic. Rescuers were concerned with the position of the deer the closeness of the barbed wire fence and the length of time the deer had been entangled for before being found. Rescuers needed the deer to go in a safe direction but this would not feel like the most obvious escape route to the deer which was bound to cause confusion. On release, the deer was still, playing dead at first, so rescuers had to encourage the deer to stand, which wasn’t helped by the position of the deer and gradient of the bank. With a little help from deer was soon on its feet, but caught the one of the head covers on its antlers as it flicked it head. This occasionally happens but the covers quickly fall off and are recovered once the deer has run off.
This deer is very luckily and came close to a limit where it may not have survived. They generally have 30 minutes to tolerate rescuers capturing them through to release before they would potentially have a heart attack and die. The longer they have been entangled for before being found the shorter this time will be.
This is the third such incident in less than a month which WRAS has attended. WRAS has also attended a fallow buck with antlers entangled in a rope swing. How many more don’t survive or run off and don’t get found?
Please support East Sussex WRAS, you can make a donation to help fund these rescues and many more by going to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/eastsussexwildlifecrisis
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