FIREFIGHTERS have released images showing how they freed a red deer calf from silt in the lake at Arlington Court in North Devon.
A specialist mobile rescue team from the Barnstaple station went to the National Trust grounds with a fire engine on Sunday afternoon. The team also took a rescue vehicle which towed an inflatable boat.
Members of the public called Arlington Court house to say the calf was stuck in silt and distressed.
Murry Sharpe, 45, outdoor manager at Arlington, said: “Although they didn’t go into the mud there were quite a few people who were wanting to get in and help.
“The mud was deep, at least two or three metres deep. The animal was very young. The fire crew reached the deer and brought it back to shore. We rushed to get it under a heat lamp in the sheep shed.”
Dean Hastie is watch manager of Blue Watch Barnstaple. He said: “We launched a rescue boat with three crew members wearing drysuits. We took the motor off the boat and paddled out to the calf. We managed to scoop it up into the boat and wrapped it in a sheet.”
Mr Sharpe said unfortunately, the calf died not long after the rescue. He said: “Wild deer are not great with human contact. It was also very cold and scared. It’s very sad and we are not sure how it got stuck in the silt. It is an unusual place for it to try and cross.”
Mr Sharpe has worked at Arlington Court for 13 years and said he hasn’t dealt with a situation like this before.