A small deer has been rescued from Eastbourne town centre this morning (18 September).
Members of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service were called after staff, who were out the back of Coffee Republic in Terminus Road, inadvertently scared the young muntjac deer into the rear section of the shop, where it was contained with the help of PCSOs.
Off duty rescuer Chris Riddington from WRAS was asked to attend due to the urgency of the situation. He said, "Trevor called me asking me to attend, as a loose deer running around inside a store is likely to cause serious injury to members of the public and itself. The staff did the right thing in clearing the back of the store and keeping the deer contained in the end section of the shop.
"When I arrived, they had managed to catch the deer and were pinning it to the floor. Deer can be very unpredictable, so I took over controlling the deer until back up arrived."
Trevor Weeks also attended on site with WRAS's Technical Rescue Ambulance. He said, "When I arrived, Chris already had the deer secured and covered. The deer was clearly very frightened. We needed to get the deer out of the coffee shop without it escaping and causing any further problems. The deer was strapped and secured to a stretcher and carried through the shop and out to the waiting Veterinary Ambulance. We drove up the road to a quieter location where it was better assessed. Unfortunately, a wound to its tail needed treatment before the deer could be released.
“It is always difficult dealing with deer. You have a very limited time window to get them caught and out for released or into care or they could die of a heart attack.”
"The wound on its tail needed a couple of sutures," said Chris. With veterinary authorisation, the deer was given three sutures and antibiotics out on site before being taken to the edge of the Downs for release. "The deer was very wobbly at first but once in the fresh air and after a couple of minutes to compose himself the deer suddenly rocketed off into the distance," said Chris.
"This has to be one of the most unusual deer rescue locations we have ever dealt with," said Trevor, "We have had three deer rescues in the past week. The first at Burwash had half its rear leg missing and had to be put to sleep due to its poor condition. The second was a deer with its antlers caught in electric rope at Waldron which was successfully caught, the netting removed and released and then this muntjac deer in a coffee shop in Eastbourne town centre."
Photo credit: Tracy Honey