Brian O'Connor / Animal Rescue League
Animal rescue workers pulled a deer from the freezing waters of the Concord River today after the animal fell through the ice as it tried to cross, officials said.
Hikers in the area reported the struggling doe to Bedford police and fire early this afternoon, who in turn called the Animal Rescue League, said Brian O’Connor, manager of animal rescue services for the League.
The adult doe, which had fallen through the ice about halfway across the river, had managed to swim very close to shore, but she was too exhausted to make it the entire way, he said.
By the time animal rescue workers arrived, the deer, resting in about three feet of water, was hypothermic and had trouble keeping her head up.
Two workers wearing cold water immersion suits covered the doe’s head to keep her calm, positioned a long-handled noose around her neck to secure the animal, and hauled her out of the water into a specially made crate for deer, O’Connor said.
The deer was transported to Tufts University Wildlife Clinic, where she will be monitored overnight. Depending on the animal’s condition in the morning, the deer could be re-released into the wild tomorrow.
As temperatures continue to drop, cases such as these become more common, O’Connor said. Rivers are especially dangerous, for both animals and humans, he said.
“It’s even more dangerous when rivers freeze over,” O’Connor said. “Parts could be stable enough to walk on, and parts where the water is moving faster could make the ice thin.”
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