Deer rescued from water wheel in Bricket Wood restaurant

The muntjac deer trapped inside the water wheel.

The muntjac deer trapped inside the water wheel. - Credit: Archant

A muntjac deer had a lucky escape after it got stuck in a water mill in the middle of a Bricket Wood restaurant.

The water wheel at the Moor Mill Beefeater.

The water wheel at the Moor Mill Beefeater. - Credit: Archant

The distressed deer became trapped in the indoor water feature at the Moor Mill Beefeater on Wednesday, August 2.

Restaurant staff member Nathan Lobar heard a noise coming from behind the glass doors surrounding the restaurant’s old water wheel. When staff unlocked the doors to investigate further, they found the small muntjac deer staring back at them and called the RSPCA for help.

Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Kate Wright, who is experienced in dealing with unusual animal rescues, arrived at the restaurant to help the deer.

Igor Leman, one of the restaurant employees who first noticed the deer, said: “I was passing by with some staff for the breakfast service. I saw a pair of eyes and a little head staring at me.

The river entrance to the water wheel.

The river entrance to the water wheel. - Credit: Archant

“I did two steps forward and two steps backwards and my friends started laughing at me. I said ‘I swear I saw a deer inside the wheel’.

“We put a table into the water so she could jump on it and get out but she was too scared. When we opened the door she was scared and she started to jump from side to side. My colleague was able to jump and grab her and take her out with the help of the lady from the RSPCA.”

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According to Igor the wheel was turned off that day, which protected the deer from injury.

ACO Kate Wright said: “This poor muntjac deer was in a real fix. She was stuck in between two paddles on the water wheel, really frightened and unable to free herself.

“It’s most likely she fell into the river from outside and was drawn under the building by the current where she became caught up in the water wheel. She was thrashing about and loudly barking, as it would have been very distressing for a timid wild animal to find herself stuck like that, so I knew I’d have to work fast to free her.”

The deer was soaking wet, so Kate swaddled her in a towel before checking her for injuries. She was unhurt, and was released back into the wild a little way away from the water.

Kate said: “It makes me so happy that people like the team at the restaurant care so much about animals, and are anxious to see that they’re helped.”