Rescuers have saved a ‘cold and wet’ roe deer which had been stuck in a fast flowing stream in Uckfield.
Resident Zoe Warren spotted the deer whilst out walking her dogs by a tributary of the River Uck by Fernley Park, Uckfield.
She said: “I tried to encourage the deer to a point in the stream where it might be able to climb out but the stream it quite steep sided.
“In the end I called the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service for help.”
Rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Chris Riddington of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service were on site within 20 minutes.
Rescuers walked across to the stream under the impression the deer was trapped in a ditch, and said they were ‘quite surprised’ when the ditch turned into a rather deep fast flowing stream.
After a short search of the area, the deer was spotted trying to get out of the stream.
Mr Weeks said: “Chris and I took one look at the deer and knew we had to act quickly.
“There was no time to stop and change into dry suits or waders, every second counted on getting the deer out and starting the warm up process, although we had water gear in the ambulance, we didn’t want to waste time going back and getting it.”
Rescuers had to slide down the steep bank of the stream into the water either side of the deer.
Mr Riddington said: “I can’t believe how cold the water was.
“Trevor had to climb through brambles to get to one side of the deer as I approached from the other.
“The poor roe deer was very cold and wet and had a leg caught in a tree root.
“Trevor pushed her up and forward to get her out of the water and I climbed up onto the bank to help lift her completely out of the stream.”
Rescuers then carried the deer in their arms back to the waiting ambulance, where both Chris and the deer were wrapped in blankets to soak up as much water as possible and help warm them up.
The deer was taken to Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service’s Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith where emergency treatment was given and the warm up process continued.
The Roe was bedded down in one of the indoor pens with a deep litter of straw and several heat pads to keep the deer warm.
Specialist Chris and Sylvia Collinson visited WRAS to help assess the deer’s condition.