SCOTIA - Scotia firefighters rescued a deer from the icy Mohawk River Sunday morning after witnesses saw the deer and three others break through the ice, fire officials said.
The other three deer apparently got out on their own prior to rescuers' arrival, but the fourth, a small male, remained stuck in the cold river.
The rescued deer was warmed in the department's rescue trailer and sent to an animal rehabilitation center, officials said.
The incident happened at about 9 a.m. Sunday on the river at Scotia.
After the witnesses alerted authorities, Scotia police arrived first and located the deer. Two from the fire department then went out on the river for the rescue, officials said.
The firefighters donned their cold water suits and took out a rescue sled and pulled the deer out of the water, officials said. They then placed the deer in a Stokes rescue basket and pulled it to shore.
After warming the deer in the rescue trailer, the deer was then taken to Sarah's Birds of Prey, an animal rehabilitation center that helped with another deer pulled from the river in 2016.
In all, the deer was believed to have been in the water between 20 to 30 minutes, officials said.
Scotia Firefighters, IAFF Local #842 posted about the rescue Sunday afternoon on Facebook and used the incident as a lesson in ice thickness.
"Remember - always be careful when venturing onto ice. Make sure it is thick enough to support your weight," they wrote. "Should anyone, or any animal, fall in, immediately call 911."
The deer rescue proved to be part of an eventful day for the Scotia department. The firefighters page posted later Sunday evening that firefighters Sunday afternoon helped deliver a healthy baby, a girl.
"This afternoon Scotia Firefighters helped deliver a healthy baby girl in the Village," that post read. "Thank you to the UCC for assisting with emergency medical dispatching. Great job to Firefighter Marchand and Firefighter Archibald! Congratulations to the family!!"