TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Florida neighbors jumped in to help a pregnant doe trapped in a trash can lid for months.
Residents of The Great Outdoors community in Titusville were on watch for the trapped deer. They were worried she – or her unborn baby – could be in danger the longer the lid was around her neck and leg.
Since April, the deer was only able to hop around on only three legs.
"It’s hard to put into words, I hurt for her when I realized she was pregnant, and all I could think about was how difficult her life was," said Betty Salter, who was one of the first homeowners to spot the animal in need of help.
She immediately started taking videos, enlisting other neighbors to keep watch, and called in the experts at Wild Florida Rescue.
"The concern, of course, was the rubbing on the back of her neck and any atrophy or problems with the front leg being stuck in there also for that amount of time," said lead rescuer Kris Morris. "She pretty much was a tripod for all that time."
For over two months, the community tracked her every move to make sure she and her unborn baby were still alive. Five times, they brought vets and volunteers out to try and take the lid off her head but couldn’t catch her.
"That was the most frustrating part that this situation came about because of something we as humans did," Salter added.
While still trapped, she somehow managed to safely deliver her fawn in early June.
Neighbors were still on watch for the mom and her new baby, and one day they saw her with four legs on the ground and nothing choking her neck.
"Some miraculous nature angel came by and helped her get that off her head," Morris exclaimed. "It was our first non-rescue rescue but in the end, the best result could have happened. The lid came off her. She is now thriving."
She’s also healing. With each passing day, she’s limping less and enjoying life with her baby.
"Her legs starting to come back to life, and she’s fine taking care of her fawn still, so she is back to being a happy thriving deer in the neighborhood," said Morris, who recently started volunteering with the animal rescue nonprofit.
"I rejoiced – the pure elation knowing she was free," Salter said. "She could now take care of herself and her fawn."
The rescue brought the community closer as people kept watch on the deer who became so dear to their hearts.
"Every time I saw a homeowner in here, they were always like, ‘How’s the deer? How’s the deer?’ That was the number one question everybody gave us, so it’s great to say – she’s free!" Morris said.
The work in the community isn’t done. Rescuers are working to replace lids on the trash can that trapped the deer in the first place so other animals don't get trapped in the future.