TWO deer were rescued by a specialist team of firefighters after getting their antlers tangled together with bale twine.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) was called to the incident just before 10am on Sunday (May 2) to Brunes Purlieu near Godshill.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: "Two HIWFRS Animal Rescue Tactical Advisors were called out at 9:57 on Sunday morning to Brunes Purlieu where two fallow bucks had their antlers tangled together with some heavy baler twine.

"The Animal Rescue Advisors were able to use shields, head sheets and shears to untangle the animals and remove the twine.

"The officers left the scene following the stop message at 11:52, with the animals successfully released and unharmed."

A post on the Friends of the Hampshire Animal Rescue Team said the rope was "choking" the animals and without intervention they would have died.

The post said: "These two strong fallow bucks had one almighty piece of bad luck followed several bits of good luck this morning. They had become tied together for life, and without intervention, inevitable death as a result of becoming entangled together in strong baler twine.

"This was fastened both around their antlers - which weren't about to come off - and around one of their necks so that they were choking. Fortunately they were first spotted by two horse riders who alerted the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Animal Rescue Team.

"Whilst waiting for them to attend a careful eye was kept on the deer that struggled their way through three fences and eventually fell into a deep ditch. If this hadn't been seen this would have been where they died slowly together.

"The Fire and Rescue Service, using riot shields and head sheets were able to secure the deer with their body weight while they endeavoured to cut the string which was fastened so tight that it was almost impossible to get the scissors underneath.

"After ten minutes they were successful and were able to release the deer. The scene was also attended by Mike Meeks from Wildlife Rescue at Moyles Court."

The animals were spotted by two horse riders who alerted the fire service.

The Friends group has urged farmers and horse owners to ensure baler twine or items of this kind are not left behind.

It has also asked visitors to the area not to leave rope swings in situ.

The post added: "Farmers and horse owners, please go and pick up your baler twine and straggly electrical fencing, visitors to the New Forest please don't leave rope swings in situ."

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