A deer attempting to cross an ice-covered lake in Pennsylvania fell through a section of thin ice, became trapped by the surrounding ice and was in desperate need of a rescue or it faced certain death.
Fortunately for the deer, Joshua Butz, a state game maintenance worker, happened to notice it struggling in the middle of Blue Marsh Lake and called for assistance.
"Due to the thickness of the ice, it became apparent that, first of all, the deer was extremely exhausted, [and] was not going to be able to get out on its own," Steve Martin, an officer of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, told WFMZ.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, staff members from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission donned cold-water survival suits and prepared for a rescue. Members of the Mount Pleasant Fire Company were also on the scene if needed.
Both men and the canoe were tethered to separate ropes that were held by officials on shore. One man remained in the canoe while the other, conservation officer Troy Merrell, used an ice pick to create a water route for the deer to swim through.
"He also helped the doe to find the route to shore by swimming alongside of it," the Pennsylvania Game Commission wrote on Facebook. "With a little help from these passionate wildlife supporters, the deer was able to run off into the state game lands surrounding the icy reservoir."
Martin told WFMZ the deer "seemed to be fine."