BANFF – A buck entangled in a hammock and later found struggling and hanging in a tree is lucky to have survived its traumatic ordeal.
A resident noticed a deer entangled and hanging in a tree in a wooded area behind Marmot Crescent on the afternoon of Oct. 10 and promptly called Parks Canada to help save the struggling animal.
The deer had managed to get out of the tree by the time resource conservation officers arrived, but Parks Canada officials say it was left very stressed and was lucky it didn’t die.
“Potentially it could have died there and it would have been a very painful, prolonged and stressful death,” said Bill Hunt, resource conservation manager for Banff National Park.
It is not known where the deer initially became entangled in the hammock.
Hunt said the deer would have had to struggle hard to break free when initially caught, but with the hammock stuck in its antlers and trailing behind, it ended up entangled and hanging from a tree in a wooded area near the east entrance to town.
By the time resource conservation managers got to the scene, the deer had managed to break free from the tree but the hammock was still attached to its antlers.
Wildlife staff were able to get close enough to immobilize the deer with a tranquilizer dart.
“They removed the netting, which had been fairly substantially wrapped around its antlers and head,” said Hunt. “The animal was up and around doing fine in not too long.”
The message for residents is to be aware of potential items that can be a hazard to wildlife.
“We remind people that everything from Christmas lights, clotheslines, backyard swings and all of that stuff needs to come in, especially at this time of year when males in the rut are trying to clean velvet off their antlers,” said Hunt.
“Once something gets entangled in their antlers, it’s not just a matter of running around with a decoration, but as we have seen in this case, it can become entangled and the animal may have no means of escape.”
Meanwhile, the Town of Banff continues working towards a comprehensive plan.