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UPDATED: Tiverton Rescue Crew Saves Deer Stuck in Narrow Rock Crevice

Tiverton police and fire personnel, as well as DEM, helped save a deer stuck in a narrow rock crevice Thursday afternoon.

(Credit: Tiverton Fire Department)
(Credit: Tiverton Fire Department)

Update: Tiverton Patch learned Friday that deer was euthanized, according to Tiverton officials. The following story was published prior to this action. 

A large deer found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place after the recent snowstorm, but thanks to Tiverton rescue crews and DEM, was freed from a narrow crevice Thursday afternoon. 

A resident of Deer Run Road (that's the actual name of the road) let her dog out Thursday afternoon. He began to act a little strange, barking at a small rock crevice in the backyard. 

"He kept sniffing and sniffing (at the rocks)," said Tiverton resident Dee Crawford. "I thought it was a groundhog." 

A friend of Crawford's son began to investigate and saw the deer lift its head between the tiny space. 

"The deer had her head up and looked at me," Crawford said. “I couldn't believe it. It's such a small tight space. I called animal control.”

Animal Control Officer Paul Bell arrived to the area, as well as police and fire, shortly after 2:24 p.m.

Rescue crews found this deer wedged in a small crevice. She appeared covered in snow, too. 

"It had been there awhile," said Tiverton Fire Chief Robert Lloyd. "It got wedged farther in and, with the snow, got covered up." 

Rescue crews believe the deer was on the rock ledge above, slipped on the ice and snow, and fell between the crevice. As she moved forward, she ended up becoming more stuck. 

"When the deer slid off the ledge, it went right between," said Tiverton fire Lt. Robert Gagnon. "The deer kept wedging itself deeper and deeper." 

Rescue crews also believe the deer was stuck in the 12 to 15-inches wide crevice overnight, when temperatures fell into single digits. 

Crews made several attempts to move the rocks, including using the Jaws-of-Life, but it was hot, soapy water that finally did the trick. 

"After several attempts, including spreading the rocks, we got hot, soapy water and poured hot, soupy water on the deer's back. We were then able to lift the deer's feet and back legs out," Gagnon said. 

At 3:45 p.m., the deer was freed and found to have not broken any bones. However, she was too weak to stand on her own. 

“The deer was placed in a shed so it could recuperate because it's so physically weak," Gagnon said. "It's warmer in the shed and lying on top of a blanket. They are gonna check on it later to see if it leaves on its own. It's just laying there resting until it's strong enough." 

“She's trying so hard to get up, but she doesn't have the strength," said homeowner Crawford, who provided blankets for the deer. 

Officials are hoping the deer will recover and leave the shed once strong enough. 

Assisting with the rescue were Tiverton Fire Department personnel Lt. Gagnon, Firefighter Thomas Mello and Firefighter Mike Peloquin; ACO Bell; DEM official Peter Wood; and Tiverton police Lt. Bill Munroe. 

Liz Madden January 23, 2014 at 08:25 PM
What a heartwarming story. Thanks to the homeowner and all the crew that worked so hard to save he. It's wonderful to know that such kind hearted people live here.
Don Medeiros January 24, 2014 at 07:36 AM
Great job!! There is a special place in heaven for all of you.
Fort Barton Mom January 24, 2014 at 08:50 AM
What's the update? Did it get up and walk off?
Russ Smith January 24, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Sad ending - she wasn't able to regain her strength or use her front legs and had to be euthanized the following day, but at least she spent the night in a warm shelter and didn't freeze to death. Two thumbs up to the rescuers for trying to save her life.
Renee Cwiek January 24, 2014 at 04:18 PM
They can take the expense out of my part of the taxes. I'd even be willing to throw in some extra. They tried to do a good deed. Too bad it ended up like that. But like Russ sad, she was warm and comfortable.
Renee Cwiek January 24, 2014 at 04:35 PM
Owell. I'm glad someone had a heart and helped her out.
Renee Cwiek January 24, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Now you care about the families? But it's okay to cut their food stamps? I see how it works now.
IC Facts January 24, 2014 at 05:10 PM
He's an animal control officer, not just a dog officer. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
EOF January 25, 2014 at 10:49 PM
everything was done that could be done to resolve the problem. master of disaster... if nothing else consider it a training opportunity.. every call police and fire respond to is never routine and there is no play book for resolving every situation. Although it was "just a deer" the effort was made. Be thankful it wasn't someone's pet or even worse a child...
Liz Madden January 26, 2014 at 09:03 AM
Thanks, again, to all the Rescue team. Perhaps continuing the training exercise now, you could check with a deer rehabilitation specialist about whether leaving some water and food would have helped her regain her strength.
EOF January 26, 2014 at 11:16 PM
Liz, the wildlife clinic was called... It was recommended to leave the deer to see if it could regain its strength and go off on its own... Unfortunately it didn't end up being the case... There was nothing else that reasonably could be done

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