A juvenile doe struggling on the thin ice on Skaha Lake in Okanagan Falls. (below) Penticton Firefighters out on the ice trying to coax the deer free as a crowd that gathered watches.

Firefighters help rescue deer on thin ice

A deer caught up in the ice on Skaha Lake just needed some “mental” coaxing to free itself.

A deer caught up in the ice on Skaha Lake just needed some “mental” coaxing to free itself.

Penticton firefighters and conservation officers were called to Okanagan Falls Friday morning (Jan. 6) as residents watched a deer struggle about 100 metres offshore.

“It wasn’t a safe situation for our officers to go directly out but Penticton fire has state-of-the-art equipment to do so. A few members suited up and as they slowly started to proceed onto the ice the deer realized it had some things coming towards it and got to a stronger part of the ice where it could get some grip,” said conservation officer David Cox.

The juvenile doe, first noticed by the public around 9 a.m., freed itself and left the area by noon.

“We have had a couple of calls like this. We had one recently in Osoyoos in a much shallower area, where if the ice did break it would have only sent the member into two feet of water. It was the same thing, we gave the animal some encouragement and it managed to get off on its own terms,” said Cox. “In a situation like this it draws a lot of public attention then the animal sees all that activity and stays put because it does not know what the threats are. It could sit there and wait until dark before it tries again.”

Cox said the public can call the Conservation Office at 1-877-356-2029 if they do see an animal in distress.


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