Patrick Brown is a bit of a local hero in Carcross. Yesterday, he saved a mother deer and fawn who found themselves trapped at the bottom a new sewage lagoon cell on the outskirts of the community.
“They were both helpless, in the bottom of what is essentially, giant rubber inground swimming pool” said Brown, who is the Operations and Maintenance Manager with Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
Brown explained that new lagoons are under construction, and a fence is being built around them. “We have contractors on site who were currently working on the fencing to secure the perimeter. We have people that are monitoring, just to make sure that no wildlife get down there.
“But overnight a young fawn found its way in and slid down the liner to the bottom of one of the new empty pits. And the mom was hanging around at the top, trying to figure out how to get her baby out. And then she eventually went into the bottom to be with her baby was my guess.”
The workers had left the site around 7 pm the night before, and discovered the deer early the morning as they were checking the cells. They called Brown right away.
“There’s cloth safety ladders that are installed on all those pits. But they’re installed to a link that accommodates when the pits are full. So when the pits aren’t full, the bottom of that ladder is an additional 30 to 40 feet, maybe longer, away from the actual bottom of that empty pit.”
So Brown rushed around to the other pits and gathered the available short ladders together. He had a bundle of ropes in his jeep and cut off pieces to create a ladder that connected all the other ladders.
“And so we made one long ladder to the very bottom,” he said.
“Then we made our way to the bottom of the cell and gave wide berth to the animals. We slowly made our way to the far end behind them and then slowly walked them towards the ladder to get them to go up and out.”
It did take that long. Brown was surprised.
“It was actually really quick. It is the quickest, smoothest, transaction that I had ever imagined with any wildlife.”
Brown didn’t know how long it would take the deer to figure out the mechanics of the ladder system, and though they didn’t seem to keen it was “the baby who actually had figured it out for the most part and then mom kind of followed suit after that.
“I think everything just kind of went perfect.”
Contact Lawrie Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org