Oh deer! Intruder in deep doo-doo after getting trapped in sewage plant

A DISPLACED deer found itself in deep doo-doo after it became stuck in a sewage plant. But the RSPCA and local fire and rescue services enjoyed the sweet smell of success after a long operation which resulted in freedom for the intruder. Staff at the Hyndburn Water Treatment Works in Mill Lane, Great Harwood, came across the frightened deer which had fallen down a 30 foot drop at the works and was unable to get out due to sloping walls at the plant.

They reported the incident to the RSPCA and Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Kelly Nix attended the scene along with the fire service. The deer was confined to a path around the United Utilities sewage treatment bed – which had been drained – but this had filled up with rain-water so he was able to evade capture by swimming in centre. The fire crews used a long hose from the fire engine and extended it across the area to act as a barrier to corner the animal.

Then, working with the RSPCA, the deer was placed in a harness and staff at United Utilities used a fork-lift truck to lift him free. He was then released unharmed into nearby woodland. Kelly said: “It was quite a challenge as the deer was very frightened and was really giving us the runaround.

There were a number of health and safety issues to consider. “Using the extended fire engine’s extendable hose helped us to keep the deer in one place so he could be safely put in a harness and lifted free. “I have no idea how he got in the sewage plant as it is fenced off and the drop is about 30 foot so I would have expected him to have been injured but he appeared in good health.

“When I took him to the woods to release him he ran off quickly – which was great to see. “This was a great team effort involving the RSPCA, Lancashire Fire Service and staff at United Utilities.” The two-hour rescue took place on the morning of Monday, August 19.

For more information about what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA’s website: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals

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