By Eloise Evans on 01/04/2016

The afternoon of March 25th, 2016, the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) were called out to an extraordinary incident. For the third time in thirty years, two deer were found attached to each other at the antlers. Where in the past the deer have been attached by discarded baler twine, this time they were attached by electrical rope.

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Dog walkers discovered the two deer and noticed that they were caught together. Laura Gage told WRAS, “We were all surprised to see the deer and at first we were not quite sure what they were doing but as we got closer it was clear their antlers were stuck together and could not get free. One of the deer was very stressed and being pulled around by the other deer. It was quite distressing and horrible to see. We decided to back off so not to stress the deer any further.”

When WRAS first arrived, they believed one of the deer was dead as it was on the floor not moving as the other was constantly pulling at the antlers in an attempt to get free. However, as they moved closer, the other deer jumped up and the deer ran in different directions, pulling at their antlers even more.

Rescuers Kathy Martyn and Chris Riddington used a walk towards net to control the deer and pin them to the floor. Kathy and Trevor Weeks controlled the deer whilst Chris and Keith Reed cut away the electrical rope. When rescuing deer in this way, it is enough of a struggle to control one deer, let alone two so the team really had their work cut out for them. The electrical rope was wrapped tightly around the antlers which made it extremely hard to remove, but it took them just under 10 minutes. They had to be quick as the deer were exhausted and they wanted to ensure neither had a heart attack.

After releasing the deer in a careful manner, the deer did not move instantly as they were both exhausted. One got up quite quickly and galloped away, but the second deer needed a bit of encouragement. After a few seconds, both had run off.

The rescuers believe that one deer had previously been entangled in the electrical rope and had been cut loose by someone who had not managed to remove all of the rope from the antlers. They think it then fought with the second deer and they become attached by the electrical rope.

“It is really important that entangled deer are secured and anything attached to their antlers is completely removed to prevent them being entangled again, where they might not be so lucky and could die a long slow death. If it wasn’t for these dog walkers calling WRAS these deer may well have died a horrible slow death,” said Trevor.

The fact that the deer were caught in electrical wire made it a lot more difficult to rescue them as it had small strands of metal inside the rope, meaning there was more for the rescuers to cut away.

Mr. Electric cares for the safety of all people and animals, and in a situation like this you must be careful with electric fencing. As you can see it can have a devastating effect on wildlife and it is an issue that should be looked at carefully and from all angles. A lot of people who own horses prefer to use electrical tape as it is more visible to their horses and is easier to break if they get caught. So, instead of using rope or wire, you could use electrical tape so wildlife is less likely to entangle themselves. We are just happy that these two deer had a happy ending and got away safely.

If you want any extra advice on the safe use of electrical fencing, do not hesitate to contact us here at Mr. Electric on 0800 7311 606.

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