WAUSHARA COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- A heartfelt rescue this weekend, as a Pine River family rescues a fawn at risk of drowning in the Fox River.
“We thought it was a log at first, just floating,” says Vanessa Roebke, who helped rescue the fawn. “We realized it was moving around, and it was a deer. And it was really struggling, it was very little.”
The family quickly realized a struggling baby deer was trapped in the Fox River’s current.
“My brother put on a life vest and he jumped in,” Roebke says. “It was shallow enough where he could stand and he could go get it. But he got kicked up pretty good.”
After that, Roebke’s brother handed the fawn off to her, and they brought the frightened deer to the shore.
“It was like, little vibrating like crazy. And his heart, when I was holding him, his heart was just racing like crazy,” Roebke says. “I think any more stress or any more fear would have probably not been good for him.”
From there, the family contacted the Department of Natural Resources to figure out their next steps. While they felt uncomfortable leaving the deer alone, the DNR says that’s exactly what they’re supposed to do.
“It was a good thing for the people to go and rescue this fawn that was certainly struggling in the river, they’re not very good swimmers at this point yet,” says Joshua Martinez, a wildlife biologist for the DNR. “But getting him back up on the shore... it's best to leave it just be. Because it will find its way back to its mother.”
According to the DNR, by this time of year, fawns are usually strong enough to live on their own. Experts there say deer are almost always safer in the wild than they are in captivity.