Sleaford firefighters needed to use cutting tools normally reserved for freeing road accident victims trapped in wreckage to free a little muntjac deer that had become entangled in a fence.
The crew was called out the Bass Maltings on Mareham Lane just after 6am this morning. On arrival, the firefighters were greeted by security staff who took them to the young muntjac deer which had become caught between two fence panels.
The crew were able to free the animal quite quickly and it ran off.
“We were able to free the deer using holmatro cutting equipment, which has a long hose length,” said crew manager Marc Gardener, who was involved in the rescue. “This means that the animal is protected at the point of rescue from any noise, which reduces the chances of the animal becoming too distressed. We released the deer and it ran off with only superficial injuries.”
This is the second such case in the last six months where firefighters have been called out to a deer trapped in fencing on Mareham Lane in Sleaford.
“The last time it happened was also a successful release and that time we know the deer ran off to its parents, because we could hear them calling to it,” the fire crew manager added.
According to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Muntjac deer were introduced into the UK from China at Woburn Park in Bedfordshire at the start of the 20th century and rapidly spread into the surrounding area. They have gained a stronghold in South East England, where it can cause damage to woods through browsing but the population has spread further north across the country, living in the wild.
Fully grown they are about teh same size as a medium dog, just 77-91cm long, measuring 45-52cm to its shoulder. They weigh 10-17kg and liev 10-13 years.
Although an invasive, non-native species, they are protected in the UK under the Deer Act 1991.
They can be found in woodland, parkland and even gardens. It is gingery-brown, with a pale underside, darker stripes in its face. Male muntjacs have short, unbranched antlers that slope backwards, and a pair of long canine teeth. Muntjac deer are also known as ‘Barking Deer’ because of their dog-like calls.