Thursday, February 28, 2013

Helicopter blew deer to safety after it became stranded on ice in frozen harbour

A Nova Scotia man is sharing the story of an amazing animal rescue after a mother deer and her baby became trapped on the frozen waters of Antigonish Harbour. Ian Waugh, a retired biologist from Alberta, says he spotted the deer struggling on the thin ice last month.

“It caught my eye that the female was down on the ice and every time she tried to get up, she would fall back down and she was splayed out in just, one of those positions that makes you go ‘ugh,’” he says. Waugh, who now lives in Lanark, called the Department of Natural Resources, but after checking the ice, officials determined it was too thin to risk going out to rescue the deer.

A few hours later, Waugh spotted a DNR helicopter near the deer. The fawn ran to shore and the chopper came down close to the mother. “The wash, because the ice was so smooth … the wash was so powerful that it actually started to push the deer,” says Waugh. He says the deer eventually stopped struggling and went with the flow, while a DNR officer and the pilot directed the animal to shore.

YouTube link.

Department officials say it’s not always practical to help wild animals in distress, but that they will assist on a case-by-case basis if it’s appropriate and safe. Waugh captured the scene on video and is now sharing the incredible story. Waugh says he is especially impressed with the ingenuity shown by the pilot. “It was just brilliant…it was a solution exactly tailored to the situation.” Waugh isn’t certain where the deer are now, but says they were spotted walking in the woods together shortly after they were rescued.

With additional news video.


Ratz said...

Helicopter-based deer curling. That's one for the next olympics.

Anonymous said...

@Ratz: 2 Internets for you!