Deer saved from 'inevitable death' at Godshill after becoming tangled in bale twine
TWO deer were saved from "inevitable death" in the New Forest after discarded twine tangled their antlers together.
The struggling bucks were spotted on Sunday by concerned horse riders who raised the alarm with nearby resident Sarah Weston, who alerted the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service's animal team.
Sarah, who kept watch on the deer while the crew arrived, said: "They had become tied together for life and, without intervention, inevitable death as a result of becoming entangled together in strong baler twine.
"This was fastened both around their antlers – which weren't about to come off – and around one of their necks so that they were choking.
"The deer struggled their way through three fences and eventually fell into a deep ditch. If this hadn't been seen, this would have been where they died slowly together."
Sarah, who edits the Friends of Hampshire Animal Rescue Team Facebook page, said members of the rescue team used riot shields and head sheets to secure the deer while they cut the twine and eventually released the animals.
She added: "Last year, when I was litter picking for the Litter Pickers of the New Forest I found two deer skulls fastened together with electric fencing tape.
"It must have been a horrific death."
Nigel Matthews, head of recreation management and learning at the national park authority, said: “The New Forest’s unspoilt natural beauty is one of the things that people value most about the area. Sadly, a minority of people leave litter in the Forest which can harm the wildlife and grazing livestock. Bits of plastic can also break up into microplastics which find their way into our water courses and ultimately our beaches and oceans.
“We work closely with New Forest District Council, Forestry England and other local organisations to find ways to keep the New Forest as clean as possible, including talks at school assemblies, posters, literature, social media and events.
“We’d also like to thank our ambassadors and the community groups for their tireless work litter picking throughout the year.
“Please dispose of your litter responsibly at home if litter bins are full or there is not one nearby.”
A spokesperson for the HIWFRS said: "The animal rescue team were called to Brune's Purlieu, Hampshire, at 9.57am on 2nd May to attend two fallow bucks with heads locked together with heavy bailer twine tangled in their antlers.
"The animals were successfully released and unharmed."