An ice rescue team from the Penticton Fire Department ventured out onto the ice of Skaha Lake on Saturday morning to rescue an injured deer.
The chief of the Okanagan Falls fire department Rob Oliver said when his fire department was notified about the injured animal, they called in the Penticton ice rescue team which has the proper equipment and training to perform this type of rescue.
Oliver said the deer appeared weak and had injuries near its tail that were likely caused by other animals.
Oliver said the ice rescue team went out to the injured animal, put a rope around it and brought it into shore.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service posted on social media that the deer’s tail had actually been bitten off and that the animal had likely been chased by a coyote.
The fire chief said the rescue was completed without anyone falling through the ice.
He said the animal was given a shot by a conservation officer “to calm him down” and the deer was loaded into the conservation officer’s vehicle.
Oliver said the deer was ultimately released back into the wild.
The fire chief was pleased crews were able to respond to public concerns about the animal.
“At least they know that something was done for the deer,” he said.
Oliver said it was good that people reported the animal to authorities instead of trying to walk out onto the lake to retrieve the animal themselves.
“If they went out there they probably could have fallen through the ice, and the next thing you know we’d be doing a recovery,” Oliver said.
Oliver recommends people stay off the lake at this time.