Crews worked to rescue a doe and her fawn on Tuesday after they fell into a deep reservoir in the North Carolina mountains.
The deer were first spotted over the weekend, surrounded by a 12-foot concrete wall.
Eyewitness News could see the frightened doe as she darted through the overgrown brush at the bottom of the reservoir. Her baby wasn't moving after collapsing overnight. The fawn died sometime Tuesday morning after being trapped for days.
“I don't know if they fell in there or what happened, but there is no way they could get out, I know that,” witness Linzi Martin said.
Word spread quickly about the deer near the town of Mortimer in the northern part of Caldwell County. The reservoir was built nearly 100 years ago for an old mill that no longer exists.
At the top of a steep path, there is no fence -- just a huge drop-off into the reservoir.
Wildlife biologists worked to get the deer out safely.
“She looks like she is in reasonably good shape. Maybe a little bit thin, but she is moving around well and not panicking,” said wildlife biologist Mike Carraway.
They climbed down into the reservoir with a dart gun, hoping to get close enough for a shot to knock out the doe.
The deer ran around the reservoir before collapsing near a tree. The wildlife biologist then pulled her out of the hole. The whole rescue took less than 30 minutes.
“She's out. She's out cold. She's out of the pit and is healthy and ought to do just fine,” said wildlife biologist Danny Ray.
The state biologist stayed with the deer until she came to on Tuesday afternoon Both men involved in the rescue said they hope to have the wall at the old reservoir knocked down or fenced off to keep other deer or anyone else from getting hurt.