On Sunday a lucky deer managed to narrowly escape the jaws of several Palm Beach alligators. Boca Raton resident Tom Berger and his son first sighted the imperiled deer trapped in a shallow canal east of a local wildlife preserve.
“There were some big gators and we became concerned whether the deer was going to make it until the police arrived,” Berger told WPBF.
According to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrived on the scene to witness the deer being surrounded by at least two alligators. The panicked animal was clearly fatigued and treading water slowly. With the help of wildlife investigators, the deputies began to bait the deer into swimming towards one bank of the canal. When the animal got close enough, PBSO Captain Matt Eisenberg was able to lasso a rope around the deer’s neck and draw it in. The animal appeared to have been bitten and was injured on its hindquarters, but made it to safety as the gators watched nearby. Several armed deputies also attended the rescue in case one of the predators decided to make a last-ditch attempt at a meal.
“People were saying that nature is nature and you got to just let it play out,” said Berger’s son Dave, who stayed for the duration of the rescue. “But if I see something struggling in the water, I can’t just turn around and not do anything about it.”
The fortunate deer was taken to Busch Sanctuary and is currently being treated for its injuries.
Images courtesy Palms Beach Sheriff's Office