This poor deer spent six months wandering with a brightly-colored hammock caught on his antlers, until he was freed last week (Picture: California Department of Fish and Wildlife)
A deer spent six months with a brightly-colored hammock stuck to its antlers, until rescuers were finally able to remove the cords from his head. The unfortunate buck was first spotted in Lake Natoma, California earlier this summer, with locals concerned his headgear was causing him discomfort.
Officers from California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife were alerted to the buck’s predicament, and spent months trying to help him. They were finally able to tranquilize the buck several days before Christmas, and remove the hammock from his head.
Rescuer Captain Patrick Foy said: ‘People tend to grossly oversimplify the animal-capture process. We showed up in the dark and basically ambushed the deer. We were in full camouflage. This animal had no idea we were there. My partner got a good dart in the right spot which is generally the major muscle groups.’
Foy and his team used a tranquilizer that knocked the deer out, and required him to receive oxygen as wildlife officials operated. They also removed the buck’s antlers, which will grow back, to try and deter poachers from shooting him.
Local resident Monica Schluer, who was worried about the deer since first seeing him in summer, says she will never forget the moment the animal woke up afterwards.
Schluer told KOVR: ‘He kind of looked at us, like “hey what’s going on here?” Then he got up and ran through the hills. It was great!
‘I really felt honored for just a moment of time I could see and experience part of his life. I really did.’
Wildlife officials say they hope the deer’s suffering reminds others to clear up after themselves, so that animals do not get hurt by their trash.
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