South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking people not to put their lives in danger by trying to rescue deer from open water.
The emergency has this week twice been called out to rescue deer’s stranded in a canals near Mexborough and Stainforth, only to find local people have already attempted rescues.
Station Manager Simon Dillon, said: “People shouldn’t be risking their lives by attempting rescues in this way. Deer are extremely timid and easily frightened. They will swim away from humans until they are fatigued to the point where they can no longer swim, so any attempt to rescue them will almost certainly fail and is likely to do the animal more harm than good.
“In most cases these deer, which are well known to local people, make their own way out of the water. The last thing we want is people putting their own lives in danger by entering the water. Water can often be deeper than people realise, and you have no idea what lies beneath, like rubbish and reeds which can trap you and cause you to drown.”
Whilst the fire service attends dozens of animal rescues in South Yorkshire every year, most involve domestic animals. Wild animals are notoriously difficult to rescue and there are usually other agencies, like the RSPCA, who can help instead.