Deer in danger of drowning in South Yorkshire canal rescued by RSPCA

A deer which was in danger of drowning was rescued from a South Yorkshire canal by the fire service and released to safety by the RSPCA.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 5:45 pm

A member of the public spotted the female roe deer swimming in the Sheffield to Keadby canal in Steel Street, Rotherham, but soon realised the poor animal was unable to get out of the water.

They contacted South Yorkshire Fire Service and a crew was sent to the scene on Monday, May 3.

Deer can swim but the deep sides of the canal made it impossible for the animal to safely climb out so the fire crews managed to pull the deer to safety and called the RSPCA for help.

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RSPCA rescue a deer from a Rothrham canal.

Animal rescue officer (ARO) Ollie Wilkes attended and checked the deer who appeared to be in good health so with the fire crews they managed to confine the animal in a cage and carried her to the other side of the canal and released her back into the wild.

Ollie said: “Deer do swim but in this case the poor animal was unable to get out due to the high sides of the canal and she was obviously getting stressed and was at risk of drowning.

“Fortunately a member of the public came across the deer and realised she was in danger so contacted the fire service who did a great job in rescuing the animal.

“I checked her over and she seemed to be in good health so we decided to take her to safety away from the canal to release her back into the wild.

“It was great to see her run free and I caught the moment on video.”

This is the second deer to be spotted swimming in the South Yorkshire area in recent weeks.

On April 30 a deer was spotted swimming in the River Don near Kelham Island by a local resident who captured the moment on video.

The RSPCA would urge anyone who spots a deer, or other wild animal, in distress to keep a safe distance and contact them on 0300 123 4999. Do not try and free it yourself. Wild animals can scratch, kick and bite when frightened, particularly if they are injured. You could risk hurting yourself and the animal.