The RSPCA raced to the rescue of a deer buck on Monday (20 July) – after his antlers became tangled in a climbing rope attached to a tree at Hilston Park in Monmouthshire.
Remarkable video footage shows the extent of the panicked fallow deer buck’s plight – with the animal unable to escape, and the rope – at some points – pulling all four of his legs off the ground.
Members of the public spotted the deer and contacted the RSPCA – but avoided watching him too closely, as they reported this was making the buck even more distressed.
RSPCA inspector Simon Evans and animal welfare officer Rohan Barker headed to the scene – and were able to safely tranquilise the deer using a dart gun, with the support of a veterinary professional – after obtaining the necessary licence to do this from Natural Resources Wales.
The 10-stone buck remained conscious – but calmed following the administration of the drugs. RSPCA officers were then able to remove the rope from his antlers before guiding the animal to a safe spot to be released. The drugs wore off after approximately 20 minutes.
Inspector Evans said: “This unfortunate deer buck was in a terrible mess – hopelessly tangled to a climbing rope at Hilston Park, off the B4347 in Monmouthshire.
“We’re grateful to members of the public who alerted us to the buck’s plight. He was very distressed, but fortunately we were able to safely tranquilise and help the deer.
“It was still a really tough and awkward job – as the deer buck was panicked, and pumped full of adrenaline – so the drugs had only a marginal impact. But we were able to safely untangle the rope, and guide him away from a nearby lake towards some undergrowth, so he could regain full consciousness safely and away from further hazards.
“This story is a reminder as to the risks many outdoor objects – like this climbing rope – pose to wildlife. That’s why it’s so important to monitor them. The RSPCA website contains advice on living alongside or around wildlife.”
Officers at the RSPCA have remained on the frontline responding to emergencies throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Should you wish to help them with this work, you can donate online.