by Ken Brooks
I have been the preserve monitor at the Sally Brown, Crutcher, and Earl Wallace preserves in Garrard County, KY on the Kentucky River Palisades for many years. I’ve had myriad adventures and tales concerning my conservation related work. From meeting with visitors out on hikes to helping to clear tree damage after a major ice storm, I’ve had some memorable experiences and I’ve always tried to keep alive the spirit of environmental stewardship in my work.
Last week, I had one such memorable day.
At the beginning of just another normal workday, I was preparing to run some tests on water flow through a sink hole on one of the Garrard County preserves. Just some routine research. Packed with all of my gear, I headed to the site to investigate the 8 foot wide and 10 foot deep hole. When I arrived I realized that a shroud of grasses and weeds was covering up the sink hole. I got out a weed whacker began clearing the area.
As I got close to full visibility of the hole, I noticed some motion down in the sink hole. There, scurrying in the dark of the miniature pit, was a trapped fawn. She still had her spots, was young and scared. The fawn wasn’t strong or large enough to get herself out of the hole, nor courageous enough to call out for help.
I did what any good steward of our fellow creatures would do – I helped. I called on Camp Dick Fire and Rescue, the area volunteer fire department. About a dozen volunteers appeared very quickly in a half dozen vehicles – fire trucks, pickup trucks, and cars- and they immediately took action.
After they assessed the situation for personal safety and gathered the necessary equipment, they went about rescuing the fawn. One firewoman decided to enter into the sink hole to retrieve the faun. After securing herself with a safety harness, she and the other volunteers lowered her into the hole.
Likely frightened, the fawn tried to jump up the opposite side. A second fireman was able to catch it and bring it to the surface safely without injury. A tree line 20 feet nearby seemed to be the appropriate place to take the fawn. She struggled and squealed along the way. As the fireman set down the fawn in the woods, he looked up and saw that, 100 feet away, the doe awaited her baby’s return. The two deer ran on into the woods – hopefully to live a long and happy life in the preserves.
Thanks to the Camp Dick Fire and Rescue crew for their great service!