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Rescued deer to be rehabilitated

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    By DANETTE M. WATT For The Telegraph GODFREY - The dramatic rescue Friday morning of two does stuck on the ice last week appears to have a happy ending for the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2010
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      By DANETTE M. WATT
      For The Telegraph

      GODFREY - The dramatic rescue Friday morning of two does stuck on the ice last
      week appears to have a happy ending for the older of the two whose prognosis was
      uncertain that evening.
      The deer had been stranded since at least Wednesday on a portion of iced-over
      Mississippi River a quarter mile east of Stanka Lane, off the Great River Road
      (Illinois Route 100).
      Once rescued, the younger deer, a yearling, ran off into woods at the foot of
      the limestone cliffs just east of Stoneledge Drive. But the older deer,
      estimated to be age 5 or 6, wasn't as nimble. She was likely suffering from
      stress and hypothermia after her two-day ordeal, Treehouse Wildlife Center
      Director Lynn Schrieber said after the rescue. The doe was unable to stand up
      and could only scoot forward a few feet from where she had been placed by
      rescuers.
      Todd Thompson, one of the men who went out on the ice during the rescue, stayed
      with her for more than five hours Friday, at one point slipping plastic under
      her to keep her off the cold ground and covering her with more plastic.
      Thompson, 43, of Holiday Shores, said when he left her Friday night, she was
      "coherent" but still couldn't move.
      "I checked on her about 8 this morning," Thompson said Saturday afternoon. "She
      was still covered with the plastic and I gave her some food and water. I tried
      to find some straw and couldn't but went back again about 9 or 9:30 with a
      comforter for her."
      He was headed home when an Illinois Department of Conservation officer called
      him to tell him he had found someone to rehabilitate her.
      "Apparently this man in Centralia has a license to rehabilitate wild animals.
      The officer said she traveled well," Thompson said.
      Thompson said the deer's back legs aren't broken but the hair on them had been
      frozen to the ice when she was on the river. He said she is probably dehydrated
      and weak from her ordeal.
      Motorists noticed the deer Thursday morning after an ice storm hit the area but
      DOC officers said it was too dangerous to attempt a rescue. A helicopter pilot,
      Thompson, and other unidentified men embarked on a concerted rescue effort
      Friday morning. When Bill Houska, chief pilot for Helicopters Inc. of Sauget,
      hovered over the ice, the downdraft from the copter's blades pushed the yearling
      to shore at 10:25 a.m.
      Thompson, a member of the Alton Water Ski Club, donned water skis to make his
      way out to the deer to assist another man already there. He slipped the handle
      of a water ski rope around the deer's neck and a contingent of four men on shore
      helped rescuers on the ice get the deer to shore at 10:40 a.m.

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