A Vancouver Island resident didn’t think twice after diving into neck-deep manure Tuesday (Aug.17) evening to save a fawn stuck as its mother watched in a nearby cornfield.
Sean Ferguson, the owner of Runge’s Deli in Courtenay, said he was doing social media work for the deli when he saw a Facebook post from a passerby who saw the deer stuck in a large manure field in a farm off Comox Road not far from the 17th Street bridge.
Within a few minutes, Ferguson left his home to assist.
“I figured out where it was and there were already a handful of people there. I looked at where the deer was and thought we just have to jump in, so I did with all of my clothes on – it was really deep.”
The fawn was spotted by someone who had stopped off the road to pick blackberries and noticed it was stuck not only in the manure but with blueberry branches wrapped around its body, Ferguson explained. As soon as he jumped in, he realized his feet weren’t able to reach the bottom of the pile and quickly grabbed onto a cement pillar.
Another passerby helped him as he hoisted the deer through the manure.
“We were able to lift it up and get the branches off. (The fawn) knew we were there to help. It didn’t cross my mind to jump in, but I didn’t know if it was mud or a puddle or something else. I didn’t know it was manure until I jumped in.”
As soon as the fawn was freed, it pranced over to its mother looking on and didn’t appear to have any injuries.
Because of multiple broken noses, Ferguson explained he doesn’t have a strong sense of smell, so initially, the manure wasn’t too much of an issue. After coming out of the pile, he said the smell began to hit him, but another motorist who stopped to assist had a towel and was able to wipe down before going back inside his vehicle.
“I took the morning off of work at the deli to clean out my truck,” he added with a laugh and noted he’s had multiple showers since the evening.