PA student rescues trapped fawn

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PICTOU — People rarely have an opportunity to perform great deeds, but Ethan Dewar can claim at least one.

And he has the evidence.

Dewar rescued a male fawn from almost certain death last week by pulling it out from the shoreline in town and carrying it to safety.

His Grade 11 teacher, Sandi Wallace, is at least as moved by the positive outcome as he is.

“I taught him last semester,” she said. “I think it puts a light on his character, his beautiful heart.”

The incident occurred off shore in Pictou Harbour, down the grade from where Dewar lives on Beeches Road.

The video taken of the rescue.

He and a friend, Autumn Rafuse, happened to be in the area down the harbour from where the shipyard is located.

“It was around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday,” Dewar said. “We were just watching the sun set when I spotted the deer about 100 metres from shore. At first we thought it was a small dog. At that time I told her to take video of it.”

At first, Dewar tried to call it to shore. It started swimming away so they kept quiet and made themselves less conspicuous. All was going well until the fawn veered from a beach area where Dewar thinks it originally entered the water and toward a rocky shoreline.

“He was a way out,” he said.

Then they met up with the fawn’s mother, who was obviously frantic over its plight.

As the fawn looked for a way out of the water, it got itself caught under a rock. Dewar tried to dislodge it and pull it out from one direction, then circled the rock and reached in, pulled it free and carried it across the rocky area to a clearing. The mother recognized the fawn’s call and they were soon together.

Both Dewar and Wallace agreed the fawn could have drowned due to the rising tide.

“I waited for him on the rocks and he couldn’t get up and got caught under the rock,” Dewar said. “He couldn’t move. Then I got a better angle and pulled him out by the head. We let him go and he met up with his mom right away. I was trying to calm her down and the fawn let out a couple of yelps.”

Rafuse captured the entire ordeal on video.

Dewar said his mother could see the fawn and his mother passing by their home afterward.

He said nature and wildlife are familiar to him.

“I have been in the woods a lot of my life, but nothing like this happened,” he said. “It’s a pretty cool experience. I’m glad I was there.”

Dewar said it’s no mystery how the fawn got in trouble. Deer are known to swim long distances that include swimming across the Northumberland Strait.


From left: Grade 11 teacher Sandi Wallace and Ethan Dewar view video of his rescue of a fawn last week. (Goodwin photo)