Man fishes fawn out of water while surfing off Outer Banks

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BUXTON, N.C. — A man noticed something unusual in the water while he was surfing off the coast of the Outer Banks recently.

While some feared it might be a shark, Tyler Balak told The Virginian-Pilot he suspected it might be driftwood. As he paddled closer, he saw a head and ears.

At first Balak thought it was a dog. Then he realized it was something even more surprising.

“I yelled, ‘Oh my God, it’s a deer!'” the 33-year-old Virginia Beach man said.

Balak paddled to the fawn, took it in his arms and swam back to shore.

“It was shaking. It was clearly in shock,” Balak said.

On the Internet, Balak found Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation in Frisco.

The deer was taken to the rehabilitation center where it was placed in a padded room while it recuperated from the shock. Lou Browning, president of the nonprofit, explained that the padded room was necessary as fawns can hurt themselves in captivity.

Once the fawn recovered, Browning sedated it, returned it to Buxton and released it.

Balak said he thinks the fawn was out there for as long as a half-hour.

“It was definitely going to drown,” Balak said.