Oh deer! RSPCA spends five hours ‘unwrapping’ tangled buck on Christmas Day
While most of us were unwrapping our presents on Christmas Day, RSPCA inspectors were tasked with untangling a deer from a fence.
RSPCA inspector Emily Astillberry and animal collection officer Paige Burnham rushed to help the buck which was spotted in Horsham St Faith, north of Norwich.
The stricken animal was pulling on around 15ft of fencing to get free after its antlers became tangled.
Inspector Astillberry said: “The young, male, fallow deer had snapped the fence in three places and had the fence, and a fence pole, wrapped tightly around his neck and antlers.
“It was still connected to the fence posts at the edge of the field in two places and he was pulling on around 15 feet of fencing while trying desperately to free himself but just getting more and more tangled.
“We reduced the amount of loose fencing that the deer had to thrash around in so he was easier to approach and manage.
“Every time he came closer to the fence and his fencing went slack, we wrapped it around the fence posts of either side, gradually pulling him in and reducing his freedom.
“This was very difficult as he was constantly lurching all over the place and thrashing and jumping into the air trying to get free.”
The animal welfare charity’s rescuers were given a helping hand from a vet who sedated the deer.
It gave them the chance to cut and untangle the fencing from around its antlers with a knife and wire cutters.
Inspector Astillberry added: “It was amazing how much he had got tangled and how tightly it was wrapped.
“Eventually, we were able to free him of the fencing completely and he staggered to his feet and made his way back into the woodland.
“We finished the rescue at 6pm, after arriving at 1pm, and made our way back to our vehicles, tired and in need of a mince pie.
“It was hard, difficult, exhausting work but well worth every minute of our Christmas to see him free again at the end of our efforts.”
• Anyone who sees a wild animal trapped should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
• The charity is asking the public to support its Kindness at Christmas campaign. To donate, visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness