Manchester

Four stranded deer rescued from River Irwell

Deer in Irwell Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The deer had to be coaxed into the river

Four stranded deer rescued in Greater Manchester have been given the festive names Dancer, Prancer, Dasher and Blitzen.

The RSPCA said the animals had become marooned on land beside the River Irwell in Salford.

Officers believe they got stuck after being washed downstream from the Kersal wetlands three days earlier.

Dasher swam upstream, but the others did not follow and were rescued by the RSPCA and firefighters.

Another ran off and got over a high fence but RSPCA animal welfare officer Steve Wickham said boats were launched to encourage the other two deer to get into the river.

"We were hoping to guide them upstream by encouraging them to swim away from the boats in that direction, but both were struggling.

He added: "We managed to safely grab each deer from the river and hauled them on to the boat and took them back upstream where we were able to free them.

"They both ran off to the area we believe they live," he said.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Firefighters and the RSPCA were involved in the four-hour operation

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