Watch this heartwarming video of firefighters using an ice rescue sled to help a deer stranded on a slippery frozen lake reach the safety of shore.
You might call this an excuse for these firefighters to run a training exercise, but the stranded deer might see it as a welcome helping hand.
A deer somehow got itself stuck on the middle of a frozen golf course pond in Sunriver, Oregon and could not make its way to dry land and solid footing. Its hooves couldn't get any traction on the slick ice, and no matter how hard it tried it remained stuck in the middle of the pond.
Enter the Sunriver firefighters and a special ice rescue sled.
The rescue sled spreads out the weight of the firefighter over thin ice, and if the ice should break the sled also serves as a flotation device. Firefighter JJ Johnston gingerly walked the device out to the deer, and nudged the animal to shore.
Once he got it to the the edge of the pond, the deer seemed uncertain about what to do next. So Johnston cautiously tried to shoo the deer up onto land, and ended up petting it on its head, eliciting laughs from those who were filming the exercise. It was a lighthearted moment in the rescue.
Once the deer got its footing, it pranced off seemingly no worse for the wear.
Animal rescue videos like this never cease to bring a smile and warm the heart.
For example, there's this rescue of a mule deer buck from a freezing Colorado river. Or this video of several folks rescuing some stranded dolphins. Or this favorite of mine: an understated video of a farmer gently rescuing a finch that found itself frozen to a metal fence.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.