Entangled Deer – Please don’t cut me free

A wildlife rescue charity is asking members of the public not to cut free wildlife, like deer, caught in fencing, netting or snares, but to report it to a rescue organistion instead. The call comes after volunteer rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called to catch an adult stag freed from fencing near Hadlow Down today.

"A passing motorist saw the deer caught in fencing near the road and decided to cut it free, but left loads of wire and attached to the antlers." said Trevor Weeks, Rescue Co-ordinator for East Sussex WRAS. "I can see why people think they are doing the right thing by cutting them free but it leaving wire or netting attached is not good as they can get entangled later on and this time they may be away from the road and may not get seen and could die a slow death or get attacked by dogs or foxes."

Luckily a member of the public reported the deer being cut free to the Kit Wilson Trust at Hadlow Down, who promptly investigated. The deer had run down across the field and over a fence before being entangled on a tree stump. Realising that the rescue was not going to be easy the Kit Wilson Trust called in help from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS).

Trevor Weeks Rescue Co-ordinator for WRAS based in Uckfield, helped by his partner Kathy and fellow rescuer Tony Neads from Polegate met up with staff from the Kit Wilson Trust to mount a rescue mission. Approaching from three sides the Trevor led the team in their cautious approach. "The deer was luckily unable to move far but we had to be very careful as you don't want their legs kicking you and causing you a serious injury. As we approached we were very lucky as the deer managed to pull the small tree stump out of the ground but I was able to pin its antlers and shoulders to the ground and was swiftly joined by the others. Staff from Kit Wilson Trust started cutting the wire whilst the deer was pinned to the ground and secured" said Trevor.

The deer had two strands of wire under its head as well as caught round its antlers which would not have worked loose without help. Once the wire and strands of electric fencing were removed from the deer, Trevor undertook a brief assessment before everyone stood clear releasing the deer, which jumped up and ran off into the woods free and out of danger.

"East Sussex WRAS is urging people who find deer, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs or any other animal caught in fencing, netting, or snares not to cut them free but to call for help. All too often we get called to re-capture wildlife which has been cut free. This is much more dangerous than if they were rescued and secured where they were first found. When caught by legs, wings, or round the body in any way ligature wounds can cause serious internal injuries like "Button" the baby fallow deer recently rescued at Dane Hill. Being able to see where the wire is applying pressure is important for the treatment of the animal afterwards." said Trevor Weeks.

More information about Kit Wilson Trust can be found at www.kitwilsontrust.org.uk. Please consider making a donation to WRAS

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Press Contact: East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958

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