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Firefighters "Reindeer" rescue

Wantage and Kidlington firefighters have been called to help a stag that had become trapped when it slipped down a bank into a brook near West Hendred. The large stag had slipped backwards into a cavern that had been formed as a result of a collapsed concrete bridge over the brook. The stag was unable to get back out due to the sheer drop of the bank and the metal rods from the remains of the bridge, across the cavern opening.

Incident Commander Graham Turner said ‘This really was a potentially dangerous incident for the firefighters involved as the frightened stag was trying to force its way out of the cavern, and its large antlers could easily have caused a serious injury. But it was a beautiful animal that was uninjured, so we felt that in spite of the dangers, we had to at least try and release it, if we could. The operation was made more difficult as the stag also had some nylon twine wrapped around its antlers and neck and this had to be cut away to avoid it being strangled once it was released. We worked closely with the RSPCA in order to free the animal without causing it any injury and we are all pleased that he is up and about in time for Christmas in case he is needed to pull a sleigh on the big night!’