A DEER whose antlers became hopelessly entangled in loose chicken coop netting at a smallholding has been rescued and released back into the wild.

When the concerned smallholders spotted the desperate animal, in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, they tried their best to disentangle him, but had to call the RSPCA for help.

RSPCA Inspector Claire Little said: “When we arrived, the poor animal was thrashing around in a panic. The hen coop netting had tightly wound round his antlers and there was no way he could have freed himself on his own. My colleague Animal Rescue Officer Leanne Honess-Heather and I were concerned not just for the poor deer, but also for the farm’s rescued battery hens which no longer had a secure coop.

“Firstly, because the smallholding was close to a busy road, we blocked the driveway off with a truck so that the deer wouldn’t run into the road once we had released it. Then we very gently gathered the netting towards us, bringing the deer closer and closer, until we were able to put a towel over his head. This calmed him down straight away and we were able to hold him securely while we worked to free him.

“The coop mesh was reinforced with wire, so scissors and a knife just wouldn’t cut it. But using wire cutters, we were able to snip the netting away. Once he was free of the mesh, we released him and it was lovely to see him bounding off into the woods across some fields.

“This was a really happy ending but it could have ended very differently. Deer often go into shock when they are stressed and can go downhill fast so many don’t survive an ordeal such as this. So we are really delighted this worked out so well for this particular deer.

“My thanks also go to the smallholders for contacting us for help to ensure the safe release of this lovely deer.”

To report concerns about a wild animal, please contact the RSPCA hotline on 0300 1234 999.

For more information about deer, visit the RSPCA’s website.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.