Baby deer rescued from icy waters of Okanagan Lake - InfoNews

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Baby deer rescued from icy waters of Okanagan Lake

A young deer wrapped in blankets after being rescued from Okanagan Lake Feb. 28, 2018.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Hydro
March 04, 2018 - 12:30 PM

VERNON - A baby deer was rescued from the icy waters of Okanagan Lake near Vernon earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, Rob Asplin was on the job for B.C. Hydro with Ken Finlayson.

They were driving in a truck on the Westside Road, a 15-minute drive from the north end of the lake, when Asplin saw something unusual.

"We just happened to look off to the side, and my partner Rob Asplin saw the head of a deer sticking out of the water," Finlayson says in a media release. “We went back and had a look through the binoculars — obviously it was having a lot of difficulty in the water.”

They turned around to collect some help from some pile drivers they had passed by earlier on a boat. Asplin and Finlayson trudged through the snow to the water’s edge to get their attention.

Kevin Morris and Chris Burton were among those who agreed to help.

Two people took off immediately to scoop the little deer out of the water. Another followed behind in a barge that was used to break up the ice that was blocking the deer’s path to safety.

The pile drivers make their way to shore with the deer in the back of the boat.
The pile drivers make their way to shore with the deer in the back of the boat.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Hydro

At first they tried to allow the deer to make it back to shore alone by putting her in shallow water, but she was too weak.

Morris then jumped off the boat and carried her out of the icy lake.

"She was so cold," Burton says in the release. "Even after we got her to shore, we were worried that she wasn’t going to make it."

Finlayson and Asplin grabbed some blankets from their truck and wrapped them around the shivering deer.

"We talked about how we could stay and watch the thing covered up in blankets, but it was obviously stressed that we were there,” Finlayson says. "So we placed it in bush, with some branches and a blanket underneath, and a blanket on top, and went about our business."

They hopped back in their truck and went back to work. They did not know what happened to the deer until the next day. The pile driving crew returned to the shore and posted a video showing the deer walking around on all fours.

"She went up the bank, across the road and up the hillside," said Burton. "The whole thing was pretty cool. Everyone just jumped in and got 'er done."

While it is unclear how the deer got in the water, the presence of coyote tracks near the shore suggested that she might have been chased there.

Finlayson was overjoyed at seeing the video of the deer.

"I like deer… I like wildlife," Finlayson says. "You can't just leave the poor animal to suffer and perish if you have the capability to help out. There's no way we were going to leave it without trying to get hold of these guys on the barge."

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