Local conservation officers save fawn near McArthur Park

Conservation officers approach a fawn on the Thompson River Friday, Jan 6, 2017. They were able to rescue and release it nearby.
Image Credit: contributed by B.C. Conservation Service via Facebook

KAMLOOPS - A fawn was lucky enough last week to be spotted then saved by B.C. Conservation Officers who rescued it from the Thompson River off the shore of Rabbit Island.

The mule deer broke through the ice Friday, Jan. 6, within sight of McArthur Park. Conservation Officer Kevin Van Damme says four officers went out to rescue it.

“Basically it just walked out there and fell through,” he says. “You have to get to those animals quite quickly.”

The freezing river and location was dangerous for the officers too, he says, so a boat was called in to get to the deer from the water. Officers were able to lift the fawn into the boat, and while it was out of the water, there were still concerns about it surviving.

“Deer close to person is kind of like the same concern that we would have if a grizzly bear was on top of us,” he says. “Deer can get so stressed out it can die being around people.

“We try to handle deer as little as possible.”

Luckily the officers were able to get the fawn to shore and let it be.

“It’s always a concern if the deer has the ability to survive,” he says. “Taking it into human care is not the best thing to do.”

A concerned member of the public called an hour later when the deer was spotted in the same location it had been left. Conservation officers returned and when they approached the fawn it ran away.

“I’ve encountered many many animals out on river ice,” Van Damme says. “It’s unbelievable how much an animal can endure in those situations and survive.”

The rescued fawn and B.C. Conservation officers, Jan 6. 2017.
The rescued fawn and B.C. Conservation officers, Jan 6. 2017.
Image Credit: contributed by B.C. Conservation Service via Facebook

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