GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)- Rescue crews worked to get a stranded deer from the middle of a frozen lake in Golden on Thursday.
The animal apparently wandered onto the lake and then just couldn’t get his footing to reach the shore.
The struggling animal caught the attention of drivers passing by. They were concerned the deer could fall through the pond.
“This happens all the time in nature. I mean this happens out in places where we don’t see it all the time,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.
The ice where the deer was stuck was about six inches thick but still a dangerous effort for rescuers trying to save the animal.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife was alerted to the potentially dangerous situation. They stood by ready to react in case the deer fell through the ice.
“It is a wild animal,” said Churchill. “When people start intervening with wildlife it does change their behavior.”
People watched nervously from the shore as the deer struggled to stand up on its own. The animal fell several times on the slippery ice even as a coyote came curiously close to the deer.
“If no one were here it’s quite possible that coyote would have put a good enough scare into that deer to chase it right off the ice,” said Churchill.
“It was fairly tired and weak because it was going through the ice, kept falling through the ice for quite a distance,” said Lake Regional Parks Ranger Todd Taylor.
After several hours of watching the deer struggle, Taylor decided to intervene.
“Of course I didn’t want to get too close because it is still a wild animal,” said Taylor.
Taylor donned an ice rescue suit and bravely walked out onto the frozen pond. From a distance he lassoed the deer’s antlers. Then he and others pulled the large animal to safety.
“It was a great feeling once the deer gets on shore there and was able to take off on its own,” said Taylor.
Once it was back on solid ground the deer took off into the wooded area just south of the lake.
Parts of the rope were still attached but Churchill said the rope is expected to fall off when the deer sheds its antlers.