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STAGgering wild animal rescue near Ambleside

A wild stag was rescued from football nets in a playing field near Ambleside earlier this week.

Crews from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service were called to attend reports of a large wild stag that had become entangled in football nets in the Charlotte Mason playing fields near the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus on Wednesday 8 April.

Specialist officers from the CFRS large animal rescue team were deployed from Kendal to assist in the rescue, joined by on-call colleagues from Ambleside.

On arrival, the crews found the stag in clear distress and trying to force its way out of the netting which had become tangled around its antlers.

Seeking the advice of a local vet, the crews had only one option available in order to save the life of the stag – together with the vet, officers carefully surrounded and then subdued the stag by holding it still whilst the vet removed the netting.

As soon as the stag was free from the netting, it sprinted off in the direction of nearby woodland. The only alternative would have been to call in a marksman to shoot the stag if it had not been possible to rescue it. No medication or surgery was required and the animal was considered to be young, fit and healthy, so it was a fantastic outcome to be rescued and released easily back in to the wild.

Cllr Janet Willis, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue, said: “This is a fantastic example of the range of skills and services that CFRS has – it’s not just about dealing with fires. It also demonstrates that CFRS is able to respond effectively to all incidents throughout the ongoing CV19 period, and is committed to protecting communities, residents and wildlife. Without the quick thinking and skills provided by the crews attending, the stag may have been too distressed to rescue safely, or even worse, still stuck there. I am delighted that the stag was released safely back in to the wilderness.’’

Jamie Coward, CFRS station manager, attended the incident. He said: “This was a successful large animal rescue, utilising the training and skills of our large animal rescue team. The fire and rescue service responds to all incidents such as this, and on this occasion we’re very pleased to have released the animal safely. Thank you to the local vet for their assistance and to the members of the public who called this in. Everyone involved has helped save this animal’s life, and it’s good to know he’s now back roaming the fells and valleys of the Lake District once again!”

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