Fawn rescued from sewer grate in Duluth

A Duluth woman helps reunite a fawn with her mom after saving it from a sewer grate.

DULUTH, Minn. - Linda Nervick must have a wild side.

How else can you explain that animals in distress always end up connecting with her?

Nervick, who owns a business that publicizes outdoor exploration and adventure in the Upper Midwest, came home Wednesday night to find a doe standing in the middle of her front yard. Unusual, but not out of the ordinary in Duluth.

What was a bit weird was that the deer was stomping her foot, as if trying to get Nervick's attention. She wasn't quite sure what was going on, so Nervick went inside the house but later looked out the window and saw the doe still hanging around -- plus some movement by a storm drain out front. She went out and discovered a tiny fawn had fallen through the storm sewer cover, with all four of its spindly legs stuck inside the iron grate. 

She didn't know what to do but knew she had to do something.

"When nature calls, I answer," she told KARE 11, with a chuckle. 

Nervick is not a rank amateur in such matters -- a couple of years ago she came across a bobcat that was in distress, and rescued it after enlisting the help and expertise of an organization called Wildwoods Wildlife Rehabilitation. Nervick dialed them up again, and received instructions on how to help the trapped fawn.

She was told to first put on a pair of rubber gloves so as not to transfer human scent onto the little deer. Otherwise there is a danger of it being rejected by its mother. 

She slowly walked to the grate, and attempted to calm the fawn by gently touching it before carefully lifting it out of the grate -- slowly, so none of the legs would break. Nervick had rolled video on her phone before setting it on the hood of a car, and captured the entire rescue. You can see the fawn stumble away from her, but then circle back to get close to Nervick. She called the moment "very special."

The folks at Wildwoods then told her to set the little deer down in a patch of grass away from the house and go inside so the mother doe would come back. She did ... and Mama Doe appeared out of the shadows to get her little fawn who was laying and recovering on Nervick's lawn. The little deer stood up, and the two of them disappeared into the twilight. 

Nervick gives her wildlife associates all the credit for how things unfolded.

"The Wildwoods people are really the heroes," she insisted.

She does believe, however, that humans do have a responsibility to carefully and thoughtfully intervene when the natural world beckons. 

"Nature calls to you, the animals look to you. They're looking for help," she reflected. 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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