A buck caught in a tangle of rope for more than a month was finally cut loose by a conservation officer on Monday.
The male deer had been spotted for several weeks in the wooded areas off Fern Crescent in Maple Ridge, with his antlers and neck wrapped in yards of blue rope.
Conservation officer Cody Ambrose finally managed to tranquilize the buck in an empty lot near Wild Play park around 2 p.m.
Ambrose said he intervened because the rope was wrapped around the buck’s neck. The rope could have got snagged on a tree and choked the deer. If the rope was only wrapped around the buck’s antlers, Ambrose would have left the deer alone as antlers eventually fall off.
“He was sort of decked out for Christmas,” said Lilli Hemminger, who watched the deer and his family grow up in the woods around her home.
Hemminger and her husband named him “Uncle Buck” and believe he’s a sibling of the doe he is usually seen with.
Hemminger was the person who called the conservation service for help and was thrilled the buck was finally freed.
A small crowd of people from the neighbourhood stood guard, along with Ambrose and Dan Mikolay, from Wild Safe B.C., until the tranquilizer wore off, to prevent a pack of coyotes or a bear from snacking on the drowsy ungulate.
The buck’s family – a doe and three fawns – watched and waited nearby.
“He certainly looks better this way,” said Hemminger, as she waited in the rain for the buck to resurface.
• Report human-wildlife conflicts, poachers, pollution or an animal in distress to the Conservation Service at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).