ROXBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Officials rescued a deer Sunday morning that was stuck on a frozen pond since 8:00 a.m. Saturday in Roxbury Twp.
The deer had been stuck on the pond located behind Lagoon Way since Saturday morning, according to resident Frank Macaluso.
The Roxbury Township Police received numerous calls about the deer Saturday night, Roxbury Twp Police Chief Marc Palanchi said.
A call was made to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for them to make an assessment of the situation, Palanchi said.
“People started to formulate a plan and to bring a boat to get the deer out,” Palanchi said. Officials didn’t want the general public to be out on the pond, since it was not safe.
A decision was made to leave the deer overnight and the Morris County Office of Emergency Management would come out to rescue the deer Sunday morning.
“Usually you just let nature take it’s course,” Palanchi said. “If this wasn’t behind a condo complex, and it was in the middle of the woods, nature would just take its course, and the deer would either get out or it wouldn’t.”
Shortly before 10:00 a.m., rescuers, which consisted of 3 Morris County OEM members and 2 Roxbury Twp. firefighters, brought an amphibious vehicle into the pond and set out to save the deer. The deer was stuck about 60 yards off shore. The vehicle then took on water, sending rescuers into the cold waters.
“Something happened with the apparatus to make it sink,” Palanchi said.
The vehicle did sink and a heavy duty tow truck was requested to assist with retrieving the amphibious vehicle.
The rescuers, who had thick wetsuits on, were rescued and not injured.
The deer was eventually rescued and was brought to shore. It then took off and ended up on a sidewalk on Willow Walk Drive.
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife were on scene and they tranquilized the deer.
“The doe did have some abrasions but nothing was broken,” according to a member of NJ Fish and Wildlife. The doe was taken to Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary for recovery.
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(Photos: Jay Edwards/WRNJ)