When Alberta-resident Sean Steele went on vacation with his wife, he expected to visit family and do a little fishing. Instead, he ended up performing an emergency C-section on a deer.
Steele and his wife were driving from Barrhaed, Alberta, to Prince Rupert, B.C., when a pickup truck ahead of them struck a deer.
Steele pulled over to help and found the deer “horribly injured” on the side of the road. That’s also when he realized there was another life at stake.
“I seen the fawn in the uterus twitching,” Steele told CBC News. He and his wife then noticed the fawn’s legs hanging out of the deer, so Steele decided to do a C-section on her—right there on the side of the road.
He quickly cut open the doe and pulled out the fawn. It wasn’t breathing, but Steele got creative and managed to resuscitate it.
“I cleaned out its mouth, put some grass in its nose so it would sneeze and get all the crap out of it,” he said. His quick thinking paid off, and the newborn fawn began breathing again.
Steele and his wife then dried it off, put it in the back of his truck, and called conservation officials.
They were told to bring the fawn to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society refuge in Smithers, B.C., which was about 110 kilometres from where they sat on Highway 16.
The fawn, which Steele and his family helped name “Friday” after the day of its unexpected birth, is doing well.
“We’re happy to report it seems to be unharmed,” the Northern Lights society wrote in a Facebook post, adding that the fawn is now drinking milk from a bottle “like a champion.”
Steele attributes the successful delivery to his familiarity with wildlife.
“I have lots of experience with animals,” he told CBC. “I hunt and fish. Used to chasing deer around the bush. Milked cows for 20 years.”