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Posted on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

Ann Arbor firefighters rescue stranded deer at Gallup Park

By Danny Shaw

Deer Rescue D.jpg

Ann Arbor firefighters assist in the rescue of a deer that was stranded on an embankment at Gallup Park.

Courtesy of Humane Society of Huron Valley

Ann Arbor firefighters rescued a deer stranded on a bridge embankment at Gallup Park this afternoon.

The young buck made its way onto a sheet of ice over the Huron River, then to the Gallup Park bridge embankment in the middle of the river.

A concerned motorist called the Humane Society of Huron Valley after spotting the deer under the bridge. Matt Schaecher, director of animal cruelty investigations and animal rescue, responded to the scene and called the Ann Arbor Fire Department for assistance.

“I’ve got to give them credit; they were fantastic,” Schaecher said. “Their response time was phenomenal.”

A fire crew arrived with a rescue boat to help the animal back to the shore. Schaecher said the crew had to break up remaining ice around the embankment and then ushered the buck to the water, where it swam to shore and sprinted back to the wooded park.

“It was uninjured and ran down the shore next to the fences,” Schaecher said, “then hopped the fence and ran back into the woods. He was fine.”



Tue, Jan 10, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

The problem is that this sort of rescue puts stress on the animal. It causes them to produce large amounts of adrenalin. This interferes with their ability to stay warm. The animal often then freezes once it stops to rest. It might have been more humane to euthanize it.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Reminds me of the time a wild turkey got inside my backyard fence and forgot how to fly. It was running around for 3 hours until my wife went out and flapped her wings (arms). Then it flew off. True story. Maybe one of the firefighters should have jumped in the Mighty Huron and shown that deer how to swim.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

Nice story and happy ending. Kudos to the AA Fire Dept.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:48 a.m.

I love to hear good news! Our fire department is AWESOME! Always willing to help! Thank you for sharing!

Kai Petainen

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

i'm happy that the AAFD went out and helped. it's 'just a deer', but it gives a bit more experience in working with cold water. it's a good training mission.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

I never thought of it this way. But yes, what a way to get out and do some proper training in a boat in icy water.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

So much for natural selection


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:56 a.m.

Natural selection is losing ground. Just look around you.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

Yes "dading dont delete me bro", the deer was indeed STRANDED. Clearly it had gotten itself out to the middle of the river and couldn't get back to the bank - if it could don't you think it would've given the amount of time between it arriving there and the fire department responding? I don't understand why people always get down on for doing these sorts of stories. I, on the other hand, am happy to read animal rescue stories like this that have a happy ending so thank you!!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

TF - Do we always have to hear someone moaning about the fire department every single time some incident can even remotely be connected to fire employment issues? We got your point a long time ago and are really getting sick of your taking each and every opportunity to preach. It's really irritating.

Turd Ferguson

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

I hope there wasn't a human emergency while this was happening. Your A2 tax dollars at work, where they are cutting Fire Fighters.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Should have shot it, nice venison steaks. Deer population causes millions in property damage each year and is out of control.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

I remember at story from AAPS transportation a long time ago when a school bus hit a deer. No children on the bus. But the driver asked if he could bring it in to take it home. Sure no problem was the reply. DNR made sure it was hit proper and the driver took it to the butcher to be processed. So, yes, road kill does have its means.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 5:22 a.m.

Not only would the bullet have been cheaper, but the meat could have feed the homeless!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

Next time you're stranded somewhere, maybe you won't be rescued.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

"should have shot it" WITH A FIRE HOSE?! That's cruel and unusual, man.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:36 p.m.

Great story with a happy ending. I was at Gallup today with my dogs but stayed down by the Dixboro Dam part. I was there a few years ago and saw a deer that looked like it had been hit by a car or something, it was dragging its back leg. I called the Humane Society and was told later by them it had to be put out of its misery when they found it. Glad this turned out better.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Horses and deer have almost the same leg structure. If there is a fracture? Then yes, they need to be put down. I watched a video of a UP state police officer who rescued a deer after being hit, but stunned and he got it off and on its way. It is on You Tube. I can't remember the name of the video. Swartz Creek maybe?

J. A. Pieper

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

I know that deer can swim, but they don't do very well on ice. I wonder if we as citizens are going to get such a quick response when we contact our AAFD, especially with the cutbacks recently.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

If you get stranded on ice and you know you can swim, I am very certain they will come out to rescue you. Just gotta put on that doe eyed look and you have it made in the shade.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

perhaps we should scream like a deer.

steve h

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

nah, I'm sure they will take their sweet time

Kai Petainen

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

neat story...

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

"stranded"...really?!? "...break up remaining ice around the embankment and then ushered the buck to the water, where it swam to shore and sprinted back to the wooded park." deer can swim.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:53 a.m.

and "clams got legs." Oops - giving away my age.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

"deer can swim." shhh, its supposed to be a secret.