Bystanders rescue deer from flood waters

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Monday’s and Tuesday’s incessant rains left a little deer stranded and struggling to find higher ground, but that’s when some local people jumped in to help.

Firefighters had hoped that when the waters receded near 51st Street and Indiana Avenue, the fawn would find its way out of the storm drain, but three citizens didn’t want to leave it and they instead got the fawn out.

The helpless fawn stood patiently Tuesday morning as it waited for the waters to recede.

Rescue crews tried twice to save the deer, but firefighters say every time they tried to go near it, it ran away in the direction of the water flow, putting it at risk of being swept away.

So crews stopped. They then tried again with a rope, but the deer ran away from it.

“I was not going to let anyone from animal control go down because they didn’t have the proper gear or training. I was pretty concerned with my own people,” Battalion Chief Jimmy Walker said.

After crews left and the waters went down, a man jumped in. He too had troubles coaxing the little fawn to safety, but his nephew was there to help.

After falling into the water a second time, the fawn realized it had no choice and it went in the direction of the men. That’s when one of them grabbed its leg.

Then came the hard part of getting it out. The drainage ditch is surrounded by concrete and there are no stairs in sight. A woman helped one of the men up the concrete wall and through the thick brush. Then another stranger offered a hand. Together they formed a chain to get each other out. It was a risky situation that thankfully turned into a happy ending.

“Too difficult. It took two people to do it. One crawled in the water. I ain’t jumping in the water because I sure don’t know how to swim,” said Samuel Jordan, who described their efforts to rescue the fawn.

“I couldn’t leave, I just couldn’t, human life, animal life, it’s all life,” said Rebecca Willeford.

The strangers took the cold but otherwise unharmed fawn to the Lakeside Nature Center, where authorities take in wildlife.

“Made me feel good to save his life. Good experience man,” said Durrell Cox.

The creek runs directly behind the Satchel Paige Stadium near East 51st Street and Indiana Avenue.

Firefighters say normally it is just a trickle of water, but with all the rain, it has really increased the water flow. That could be dangerous for anyone trying to get involved in the rescue.

“We do have sympathy for the deer, we’re only going to do so much for the deer and not risk anyone else’s life,” Walker said when they backed away from their rescue attempts.

There are concrete walls along the creek, but there are not any others farther upstream.

Firefighters guess the fawn wandered into the stream and was swept down the creek.

At the nature center, the vets will look over the deer, make sure it’s OK and then hopefully send it back to where it was and where it can possibly find its mother.

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