ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — A young deer trapped at the base of a 30-foot, oceanfront cliff at Schooner Head was helped onto dry land by three park rangers Monday afternoon.
The spotted fawn was first seen at the bottom of the cliffs around 11:30 a.m., just as the tide was at its highest. Rangers were on the scene at noon, but, “it was just too risky to get him,” said rescue party member Ranger Adam Dermish.
By late afternoon, with the fawn still sitting in the same place, it was determined that the tide had receded far enough to mount a safe rescue operation. Dermish and Ranger Gene Gregory tied onto safety ropes and were able to walk down a gradual slope toward the fawn, but as soon as Dermish closed in, the young deer perked up and started scurrying across the rocks.
The deer then headed toward the water and jumped in. After swimming a hundred yards or so, it emerged onto the seaweed covered rocks and made its way into a tall cave.
Davies conferred with local wildlife expert Ann Rivers on the phone and supplied directions to Dermish and Gregory. The most important thing, she said, was to steer the fawn toward land, and not back into the water.
The pair of rescuers were able to do just that. The fawn emerged from the cave, casually leaped up a seaweed and barnacle-encrusted rock face, trotted up toward the top off the cliffs, and disappeared into the woods. Rivers communicated that its mother was likely in the area looking for it.
“That was a first,” Dermish said. “It may not have been pretty, but it got the job done.”