On a busy Thursday, Tosha Smith was at work about to restock concessions when she received an unusual call. A fawn was trapped under a vacant house and appeared to be in distress.
Smith, a wildlife rescuer with All Things Wild Rescue and Rehabilitation, dropped everything and rushed to the scene. At the house, Smith met with fellow rehabber Angela Lira and three constables, determined to bring the little deer to safety.Stooping down through a small hole at the base of the house, Smith got ready to army crawl across the 25 feet of mud and dirt.
“I was not prepared for this,” Smith wrote in a Facebook post about the rescue. “I tucked my phone in my shirt, one officer gave me his flashlight, and I started to crawl.”
As she navigated through the darkness toward the deer, Smith noticed something strange: The animal wasn’t moving. In fact, the deer sort of looked fake. Determined, Smith kept going maybe she was just seeing things?
“About halfway in I thought something wasn’t right, but my onlookers cheered me on and told me I didn’t come this far to quit so I kept crawling and I finished what I had started,” Smith wrote on Facebook.
When Smith finally reached the animal, she couldn’t believe it. The wild animal in distress wasn’t a real deer at all it was a decorative plastic replica, abandoned and forgotten under the house.Smith was surprised but ultimately happy that, this time, there wasn’t an animal in danger.
“I felt silly, but also relieved that we didn’t have another case of a fawn having to grow up without Mom!” Smith told The Dodo.Leaving the scene much dirtier than when she’d arrived, Smith chuckled at the absurd situation. If anything, the ordeal had proven just how committed local wildlife rescuers are to saving animals in distress. Next time, when a real animal was in danger, she’d be ready.