Neighbors rescue deer who fell through icy pond using canoes, shovels, drone

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A couple of quick-thinking neighbors in upstate New York came to the rescue of a deer who had fallen into an icy lake — and one even used a drone to lead the animal back to land.

Casey Hargrave, 19, shared the story on Facebook this past Sunday, describing how the deer had fallen into the water after she and her fawn had found their way out onto the frozen surface of South Sandy Pond in Sandy Creek.

Hargrave also shared footage of the rescue taken by a drone used to steer the deer to shore.

After neighbors punched a pathway through the ice, 19-year-old Casey Hargrave used his drone to guide the deer to shore. (Casey Hargrave)

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Hargrave’s neighbors, including 17-year-old Levi Darling and his grandfather, first became aware of the struggling deer shortly beforehand, according to WSYR.

Darling, along with his friend and some family members, then grabbed a canoe and headed out onto the pond to start breaking through the ice with shovels, in order to clear a path for the deer. The frightened deer, however, ran further into the center of the pond, WSYR reports.

That’s when Hargrave got the life-saving idea and grabbed his drone.

“I was able to use the drone to scare her in the right direction as she was stuck in deep water and too scared to head towards shore,” Hargrave wrote on Facebook.

“I managed to capture this all [in the] footage."

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According to Hargrave, the deer made it safely back to land after around three hours of struggling in the pond.

“Wow… great thinking,” wrote a Facebook commenter impressed with Hargrave’s actions. ”Thank you!”