Stranded deer makes it back to shore safely - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Stranded deer makes it back to shore safely

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A lot of you were very concerned about a story we first bought you Tuesday night and tonight we have good news. A deer was stranded on the ice in the Maumee River. We sent crews to check on it several times and early this morning it was gone.

The deer had been struggling on the ice since Monday night, but one of our viewers tells us he watched the deer make it back to shore safely. The warm up no doubt played a role in helping the deer get his footing and get back to solid ground. This story raises some interesting points about just what can be done in this kind of situation.

This scene on the river upset a lot of people. Laura Zitzelberger works at Nature's Nursery, "I understand people getting upset, it's a horrible thing to see."

Nature's Nursery provides medical care to injured and orphaned wild animals. She says ice can obviously be a real problem for deer, "They may start to head out on the ice where there is texture to the ice by the shoreline and then in the middle of the ice it's smooth because of the wind blowing. That's when they lose their traction and they just exhaust themselves trying to get up."

The deer we found was eventually able to get up, but before that happened, they took calls and answered a number of facebook postings at Nature's Nursery about the situation, "It's horribly upsetting I would hate to be the person who has to watch the scene unfold outside their window. Sadly it happens a lot more than you know."

Zitzelberger says some people expressed frustration that rescuers did not go out on the ice to help, but she says these kinds of rescues are much more difficult than you may think. They require specialized equipment and training, "It's not just as simple as getting in a boat and hauling them in to the boat. When they kick they can kill you they can drown the person trying to save them and drown themselves."

Even if the deer was rescued and needed treatment, organizations like Nature's Nursery aren't allowed to rehabilitate deer in Ohio,"We've never been able to take in adult deer here in Ohio because being in enclosures, close to humans is very stressful for them, so it is a danger to the people taking care of them. Now we are not allowed to care for orphaned deer either because of disease issues like chronic wasting disease. So even if we got the deer off the ice we couldn't have taken it in to rehabilitate it to get it back to the wild."

Zitzelberger says another thing a lot of people don't realize is that deer can swim. In fact, she says they can often be seen swimming across the Maumee River. They also tolerate cold temperatures relatively well.

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