February 22, 2016 4:46 pm
Updated: February 22, 2016 6:40 pm

Swift Current firefighters save doe holding on for ‘deer’ life

Swift Current firefighters rescued a female deer who fell through the Swift Current Creek on Feb. 22.

Courtesy of Swift Current Fire Department

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – Swift Current firefighters were called into action to take part in an icy rescue on Swift Current Creek Monday morning.

At around 8:15 a.m. RCMP alerted the Swift Current Fire Department that a deer had fallen into the creek near South Railway Street East in Swift Current, Sask.

Swift Current Fire Department Chief Denis Pilon said one firefighter went into the water and lifted the full-grown female deer up onto the ice where another firefighter was waiting.

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“The deer was right at the deepest part of the creek, about six feet deep, right in the middle of the creek,” Pilon said.

“Her front hooves were up on the ice a bit but there was no way she was getting any foothold to get up and out of there.”

The firefighters then brought the animal to the shore.

“Once we got it to the shore, it was too weak to stand so we covered it with a bunch of blankets and jackets until it warmed up,” Pilon said.

Pilon said the firefighters also used a blanket on the deer’s face so it would be in the dark and be calm. After about 45 minutes, Pilon said the deer stopped shivering and was ready to go. The firefighters then took the blankets off and it ran away.

“Our biggest fear was that she would run back toward the creek but we made sure there were people standing there to scare her away,” Pilon said.

A Saskatchewan conservation officer was also at the creek to provide advice on how to treat the deer.

An animal falling through the ice happens occasionally, Pilon said, but due to the warm weather, the ice has been thin.

“Deer cross in those areas all the time so for one to go through was not a surprise,” Pilon said.

Compared to some of the other calls the firefighters usually go to, Pilon said it was nice to have a happy ending.

“We don’t typically rescue cats out of trees type thing but any animal that’s in distress, it’s no different than a human,” Pilon said.

“We try to do what we can to save the animal. This animal was in distress and was not getting out on her own, that’s for sure, so the guys feel really good about it.”

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