N.S. videographer ‘shocked’ by intense interest in deer rescue
Published Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:41AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:56AM EST
The Nova Scotia man who captured dramatic video of a deer being rescued from the ice on Antigonish Harbour says he’s surprised the footage is attracting so much attention.
“I am shocked,” Ian Waugh told CTV’s Canada AM in a phone interview Thursday morning. “But I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
The retired biologist said he was impressed with the ingenuity shown by the pilot and describes what he saw as “elegant” and “high-tech.”
Late last month, Waugh saw a doe and fawn struggling on the frozen harbour and called the DNR.
“It caught my eye that the female was down on the ice and every time she tried to get up, she would fall back down and she was splayed out in just in of those positions that makes you go ‘ugh,’” he told CTV Atlantic earlier this week.
But the call didn’t result in an immediate rescue.
DNR officials said a rescue from shore would be too dangerous as the ice was too thin.
A few hours later, however, Waugh said he spotted a DNR chopper near the deer. The fawn ran to shore as the helicopter came down near the mother.
The pilot, David Farrell, used the downdraft from the helicopter’s rotor to push the deer off the ice to safety.
“It looked more than do-able. There was a nice clear path to [the] shoreline with glazed ice,” Farrell, who has almost 25 years of experience, told CTV Atlantic.
Waugh said the deer struggled at first but eventually went with the flow while the pilot and a department officer directed the animal to shore.
DNR said it’s not always safe to help wild animals in distress, but that they will assist on a case-by-case basis if it’s appropriate and safe.
Waugh, who now lives in Lanark, N.S., said he spotted the deer and fawn walking in the woods together the next day, but is not certain where they are now.
”The mother probably got back together with the fawn. We don’t know,” said Waugh. “There are a number of deer around the area and they look surprisingly the same.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh