Couple rescue deer from frigid water in rowboat.
A white-tailed deer may be alive today thanks to the efforts of an Omemee-area couple who saved it from drowning in the Pigeon River just south of the village Sunday afternoon, said a witness who recorded the effort.
Andrew Burch was heading home to Mount Pleasant from Omemee when he came across the couple, Thomas and Stephanie Christopher, preparing to save the ruminant near a culvert on Ski Hill Road, where the couple live.
“It was pretty amazing of them to do that,” he said, explaining how saw the likely-hypothermic animal struggling to stay afloat about 100 metres from shore.
Thomas Christopher set out in a rowboat to pull the animal from the frigid water.
Some of the wide river was covered with a snow-covered thin layer of ice, but most if it was jet black – barely thick enough to hold a much smaller animal.
Once at the shore, the Christophers wrapped the deer in blankets. It was exhausted, but seemed to be recovering, judging from the fact it ate some corn feed.
“That’s an indicator that it’s probably going to be okay,” said Burch, who took photos and video of the couple’s heroics before continuing on his way.
“So Thomas Christopher and I were on our way to Lindsay when we seen a deer through the ice in the middle of the Omemee river,” Stephanie Christopher wrote Sunday night on her Facebook page.
“We raced back, got the boat and managed to get to her at first she swam the other way but then turned around and came right to the boat where Thomas lifted her front feet onto the bow and she hung on with him while I paddled back to shore took almost four hour until we finally managed to get her on her feet with the help from the MNR.
“(Thanks to) Mike, who showed up after the OPP left, and big thanks the the fella hauling corn who stopped to give us some, I think that made all the difference in her ability to regain her strength after hours of rubbing her and trying to stimulate her to move … managed to walk her down to the tree line and off she went on her own hope you stay safe, momma.”