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Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out just after 9am this morning (6TH Feb 2018) to a Fallow Buck with an antler entangled in rope. Although the rescuers have dealt with these types of rescues before, this one was more challenging due to the vegetation and branches surrounding the deer, making the approach and capture of the deer much more difficult and dangerous.
Rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE, Chris Riddington and Kathy Martyn erected a specialist net called a “walk-towards” net around one side to try and restrict the deers movement or but there were not sure the net was going to be much use on this occasion. These nets are normally used to entangle and gain better control over the deer to with capture.
“At first we thought we might have to do a ‘leg-grab’ to pull the deer to the floor in order to gain control, but luckily the deer tripped up landing on the ground giving Chris an opportunity to jump onto the shoulders and pin the deer to the floor. I quickly joined him taking control of the deer. Leaving Kathy to start cutting the rope” said Trevor Weeks.
The rope between the tree and a post on the ground had been used to help support the tree, but now the tree was leaning over with its branches all around where the rescuers were working.
Rescuers have 30 minutes in these circumstances from the point of capturing the deer to releasing in or the deer could suffer internal injuries or have a heart attack. On this occasion the quick and efficient work of the rescuers meant the rescue took no more than 4 minutes.
“We were very lucky that there was only a small amount of rope entangled on the antler. But where it had twisted round and round it made it very difficult to cut through” said Kathy Martyn.
“Once the deer was cut free and the walk-towards net removed, it was time to release the deer. This can be just as dangerous as the capture if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t communicate with your fellow rescuers. As I was on the shoulders it came down to me to control the release. Kathy stood clear, and after deciding which way Trevor and I were going to move, it was a case of 3,2,1 and release. I’m glad Trevor didn’t have to move out the way too far as his wellington boot became stuck in the mud so he had to leave that behind” said Chris Riddington.
The deer ran off across the field through the hedge and into a woodland where it quickly disappeared.
“It always makes me wonder if the deer thinks it has escaped from us or whether it knows we have released it” said Trevor.
Press Contacts: Trevor Weeks & Chris Riddington 01825-873003.
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