Deer rescued from river

SKIPPER the deer is recovering today after a traumatic ordeal when he fell into a river before being rescued by two kind-hearted yachtsmen. The male muntjac deer found himself in the River Orwell near to Haven Marina, Ipswich, and was desperately struggling when the crew of a Dutch vessel spotted him.

SKIPPER the deer is recovering today after a traumatic ordeal when he fell into a river before being rescued by two kind-hearted yachtsmen.

The male muntjac deer found himself in the River Orwell near to Haven Marina, Ipswich, and was desperately struggling when the crew of a Dutch vessel spotted him.

The two men spent more than an hour trying to get Skipper from the wet dock before lassoing him in a last desperate bid so save him.

Although the rescue was successful Skipper suffered serious cuts to his sides and damaged his horn and once on dry land became very frightened.


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A passer-by who spotted the drama unfolding managed to put Skipper into the boot of her car and took him back to her Harwich home where she called the RSPCA.

A decision was taken to contact Wildlives animal rescue centre in Thorrington, between Colchester and Clacton, run by Rosie Catford.

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Miss Catford said Skipper would have probably drowned because the steep sides of the dock made getting out impossible.

She said: "By the time he arrived here he was still exhausted because goodness knows how long he had been swimming around.

"The skin had been ripped from his flanks and his horn was extremely damaged, so it may be that he had been wedged between boats at the marina."

"There is no doubt that the two Dutch sailors saved his life, as if they had not hauled him out of the drink he would have drowned because he was exhausted and the lady who brought him in also played a big part in saving him," Miss Catford added.

Skipper was moved into a stable where he had recovered enough energy to leave Miss Catford bruised and battered from her efforts to give treat his wounds.

With Wildlives undergoing construction work a decision was taken to transfer Skipper up to an RSPCA hospital in East Wynch, Norfolk, where he will stay until his wounds have healed.

Last night Skipper had arrived in Norfolk to begin his recovery and it is hoped he will soon be able to be returned to the wild, which, by law, will have to be within two kilometres of where he was found.

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