A deer that had a pail on its head for more than a week was freed Wednesday afternoon after being tranquilized, say conservation officers.
The deer, which was sighted in the Whiffin Spit area of Sooke, had a plastic pink trick-or-treat bucket stuck on its head.
Conservation officers received numerous reports of the deer over the last week.
On Wednesday, a woman followed the deer until conservation officer Rick Dekelver could catch up with it. The animal was sedated and the bucket was removed from its face.
The deer showed no signs of dehydration or starvation when Dekelver approached it.
“I’m sure it was dehydrated. I just didn’t note it. The deer was high on adrenalin and active from people watching it.”
Dekelver said was unlikely the deer would have been able to eat or drink with the pail around its muzzle.
It’s unknown how the pail became stuck on the deer’s face, but Dekelver said it’s not unusual for deer to get caught up in fences, hamocks and garden mesh.
Once sedated, the deer was down for 1.5 hours while the pail was cut off its head. Later, the deer awoke and began eating and drinking before running off.
“This is a good news story in that it eneded happily,” Dekelver said, adding the actions of the residents should be praised.
Anyone who spots an entangled animal or a human-wildlife conflict is urged to report it to the province’s RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.