Deer rescued from 12ft pit by firefighters and RSPCA

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A roe deer in distress was helped back to the wild today after falling into a disused settling tank in woodland at a North East beauty spot.

After receiving a call from a member of the public, RSPCA inspector Suzanne Edgar was called to the woodland in the Rowlands Gill/Lintzford area of Gateshead this morning.

The Hebburn fire crew are specialists at animal rescues. Pic: RSPCA.

The Hebburn fire crew are specialists at animal rescues. Pic: RSPCA.

She saw immediately that there was no way the deer could escape on her own.

The sides of the former settling tank site were almost 4m high and did not contain any water, so Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service were called for assistance.

Insp Edgar said: “This poor roe deer was definitely in need of help. She had started to panic and was desperately trying to run and jump out, but the steep sides were just too high."

Specialist crews trained in animal rescue from Hebburn Community Fire Station attended, and used inflatable equipment to bring the deer to safety.

The White Watch crew from Hebburn fire station. Pic: RSPCA.

The White Watch crew from Hebburn fire station. Pic: RSPCA.

Station Manager Andy Lillford said: “The crews acted with great professionalism and skill, working closely with the RSPCA officer to ensure the safe recovery of the animal, which was released unharmed back into the wild.”

Inspector Edgar added: “The White Watch team from Hebburn Fire Station were absolutely fantastic.

"They laid down a ramp into the settling tank and carefully encouraged the deer towards it.

"Eventually she got the idea and ran up the ramp and back off into the wild.

The deer was none the worse for its ordeal and was released back into the wild. Pic: RSPCA.

The deer was none the worse for its ordeal and was released back into the wild. Pic: RSPCA.

"The crew specialise in animal rescues, so our task was very successful. I’d like to thank them for all their help in swiftly getting this deer back to where she belongs.

“We rely on the public to be our eyes and ears, and it’s great that people care enough to keep an eye out for our wildlife, and to call us when they are in need of rescue.”

The fire crew used an inflatable ramp to rescue the stricken deer. Pic: RSPCA.

The fire crew used an inflatable ramp to rescue the stricken deer. Pic: RSPCA.