Europe

Deer rescued from Baltic ice off Poland

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Media captionThe rescuers cheered after the deer was successfully pulled from the ice

Two deer have been rescued by Polish firefighters after becoming stranded on ice floes in the Baltic Sea.

Both animals were spotted early on Tuesday close to the northern Polish coast near Ustronie Morskie.

The firefighters chased one of the deer back to land and braved treacherous conditions to reach the other which had drifted further out to sea.

It was not until evening that they managed to bring the second deer back to land in a boat.

Film of the rescue broadcast on Polish television showed four men using torches to steer through the ice to find the animal.

One of the men, Waldemar Bogatko, said the ice had made the task far more difficult because the deer had been drifting away.

"It was frightened, jumped into the water and tried to escape but we managed to get it on the boat," he said.

The mayor of Ustronie Morskie, Jerzy Kolakowski, believed the two deer had run on to the ice initially because they had been frightened by dogs.

Reports say the first deer has been handed over to wildlife authorities and the second is expected to be returned to the wild shortly.