AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Construction workers in Aurora saved a deer from the bottom of a 10 foot-deep manhole. Wildlife officers captured video of the yearling buck on Friday, as a construction crew hoisted the tranquilized animal back up to ground level.
Megan Lacey, a wildlife officer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, was one of two officers who responded to the call that came in mid-afternoon.
The deer had apparently fallen into the manhole, located within a SEMA Construction site near 6th Avenue and Picadilly Road. A new road under construction will fill a two-mile gap connecting 6th Ave. to E-470.
No one knows how long the white-tailed deer had been trapped before workers discovered him.
“We’re really grateful to the construction workers that they called us,” Lacey told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
A scrape on a hind leg was the buck’s only injury and thus, officers released him back into the wild about 50 yards away.
“It looked healthy when we found it. So had it been down there longer all through the weekend, who knows what kind of condition it would have been in,” Lacey said.
CBS4 photojournalist Dale Atchison captured video of the same deer on the land Saturday. He was in the company of some other deer.
The Sand Creek Riparian Preserve runs through the area and attracts a variety of wildlife in search of food, water and shelter. Since the deer’s entrapment, SEMA has capped off the manhole, said a Parks and Wildlife spokesperson.
As development urbanizes land that used to be rural, Lacey wants businesses and residents to keep wildlife in mind.
“We always want people to… take wildlife in mind when they have construction projects or things going on in their homes. So covering a manhole or covering window wells, those little things help live with wildlife,” she said.
Officers tagged the deer. SEMA expects to finish building the new parkway in fall of 2019.
An email sent to SEMA Saturday requesting comment did not receive immediate response.