Cherokee County Fire
& Emergency Services

Cherokee County Firefighters Rescue Two Deer from Retention Pond

September 17, 2018

Cherokee County Firefighters responded to an animal rescue call yesterday afternoon at approximately 2:45 near Owens Farm Lane in Hickory Flat.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a deer and her yearling trapped in a large retention pond. According to Battalion Chief, Shannon Gibbs, “After making contact with the crews on scene, we requested the Technical Rescue vehicle to respond to the scene to assist. The deer were trapped in a large retention pond approximately 50 yards by 50 yards surrounded by high walls about 16 feet at the lowest point and 30 feet at the highest point.”  Firefighters were unsure as to how the animals got into the enclosure, but it was obvious that the deer had been there for some time.

“We removed a section of fence and placed a roof ladder to gain access to part of the wall. We were able to move down the wall to a built in ladder near a drain. Charles Corbett, Scott Villanacci and I descended into the pond to attempt to catch the deer. We carried 3 of the animal capture poles from the Cherokee County Marshall's Office Animal Control vehicle. We placed spotters around the perimeter of the pond to help find the animals in the tall reeds and grasses within the pond itself,” added Gibbs.

The initial actions once in the pond were to move around the perimeter and attempt to drive the deer to one of the members in the pond. Firefighters were successful in catching the larger deer, a doe, within about 15 minutes. Corbett was able to catch the doe with the catch pole. “We were able to calm the animal and placed her in a sheet and carried her to a corner of the wall for lifting. The doe was a bit thin and looked weak from her time in the pond,” continued Gibbs.

The second deer, the doe's yearling, was a little harder to catch. Sgt. Jesse Vidrine joined the firefighters in the pond to help drive the deer into a corner. It eventually took the firefighters a good 30 minutes to catch the yearling. Gibbs was able to jump out and catch the deer in water that was about 3 feet deep.

The deer were transferred to animal control and will eventually be released back into a wooded area within the Cherokee County.

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Cherokee County firefighters approached the deer to rescue her from the retention pond.
Cherokee County firefighters approached the deer to rescue her from the retention pond. (click image for slideshow)
Firefighters take the deer to an area to be checked out and turned over to animal control.
Firefighters take the deer to an area to be checked out and turned over to animal control.
Firefighters prepare the deer for transport.
Firefighters prepare the deer for transport.
Cherokee County firefighters were excited to be able to reach the deer and rescue her.
Cherokee County firefighters were excited to be able to reach the deer and rescue her.