Fa-llow-la-la: RSPCA officers in Wales rescue stricken buck entangled in wire fencing
The stricken fallow deer was desperately trying to free himself after getting his antlers tangled in around 50 feet of discarded fencing in a wood in Carmarthenshire.
An off-duty RSPCA officer helped free a trapped fallow deer
Animal rescue officer (ARO) Ellie West was enjoying a day off when she was asked if she could assist with the rescue in Llanwrda.
Her partner - RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben - was already on his way to the incident, following a call to the charity from a landowner who had seen the distressed animal on his property.
The deer, weighing around 60 to 80kg (between approximately 9st 6lb and 12st 8lb), was up on his feet, but jumping around erratically in an effort to free the trailing fencing from his antlers. Deer are powerful, and like any wild mammal that is injured or trapped, they can become stressed and potentially cause serious injury.
It was therefore important that ARO West and inspector Hogben - who have both been specially trained to deal with wildlife rescues - acted safely and quickly. Ellie said:
Deer can deteriorate very fast when they are panicked, so we needed to move calmly and swiftly. We managed to wrap a large amount of the fencing around a tree to limit the buck's movement and prevent him from being able to drag it further away. Keith was then able to safely restrain him on the floor and cover his head with a blanket to limit the animal's stress.
I then started to cut away at the wrapped thick wire with bolt cutters, and eventually, we were able to free his antlers and retreat to a safe distance for him to get over his ordeal. He lay there for a couple of minutes then suddenly sprung to his feet and trotted off into the copse of woodland, minus his offending head dress.
It's always great to be able to assist any wild mammal, but these majestic beauties really are fantastic. Keith and I are so lucky that we share our passion for all animals but especially wildlife, and this really was a team effort. Adrenaline filled and the job completed, Keith went and continued with his shift and I had to do the food shop!
The officers extended their thanks to the landowner for his prompt call to the charity, following the incident on 20 November. If you spot an injured wild animal do not try and free it yourself; call our national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999. Read more: What to do with injured wild animals.
Join the Christmas Rescue
RSPCA's rescue teams will be out saving all types of neglected and abandoned animals across England and Wales this festive season.
Keith added: "Our officers are on the frontline across England and Wales rescuing animals from danger and suffering 365 days a year, and we are often their only hope. We're asking people to Join the Rescue this Christmas to help bring more animals to safety."
It will cost £245 a day to keep a frontline rescuer on the road this Christmas - please Join the Christmas Rescue and help bring them to safety.