That boat was deer to them. (Read full story below)
Tom Satre was fishing on his his 62-foot charter vessel n Alaska when he saw 4 deer swimming towards his boat. He slowed the boat and began to watch the group of four juvenile Sitka black-tailed deer.
“They swam right toward the boat,” he said. “Then, they started to circle the boat. They were looking up and looked like they needed help.”
This was the first time he saw deer in this much distress, Satre said. They were foaming at the mouth, and not able to make it onto the swim step, and instead swam under it. The group knew something had to be done.
Satre guessed the bucks were of last year since their antlers were very small, for some just nubbins, and hardly large enough for him to grab on to. So he fashioned a lasso and, one by one, hauled them by the neck onto the back of the boat.
According to Kelly, the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly and once on the boat, collapsed with exhaustion. They were shivering, he said. A few could not hold up their heads, and he didn’t know if they would survive.
“They couldn’t stand up on their own,” Kelly said. “(And) they couldn’t shake the water off their coats. We didn’t want to touch them, but it was clear they were happy to be there. They probably would have crawled on board if they could have.”
On the way back to shore the sun began to shine and the deer began to revive. One of them even stood up and walked around. On reaching shore, that deer jumped out and ran to the forest, but the 3 others weren’t standing. 2 were helped to the dock where they continued to rest and then left for the forest by themselves.
The smallest one, though, had to be carried and then wheeled to the dock. It took some time for him to be able to stand and make his way into the woods.
The boat owner was glad there were enough people on the boat to save the deer. Wildlife specialists speculate that they may have been chased into the water by predators and were unable to return to the shore due the hungry wolves lying in wait for them.