Deer getting tangled in yards on swings, hammocks and plant cages

Nova Scotians with yards are advised not to leave soccer nets, loose hammocks, swings and netting around plants in their yards to avoid entangling deer.

CAUTION: Some people may find images in this story disturbing

Nova Scotians with yards are being asked to make sure they are clear of hazards such as swings or plant cages that could entangle deer.

No one wants to find a deer thrashing about on their property or dying after being snagged in common items, said Hope Swinimer, founder of a Seaforth, N.S., wildlife rehabilitation centre called Hope For Wildife.

A buck died recently after becoming entangled in a swing. (Hope for Wildlife/Facebook)

"Over the years, we've seen many cases of wildlife being entangled in soccer nets, swing sets and hammocks," she said.

But recently, the centre was contacted by provincial Department of Natural Resources about white-tailed deer being caught.

"They've had over a half-dozen calls on deer being entangled in hammocks and swings so far," Swinimer said. "They asked us if we could help get the word out."

It's something Hope For Wildlife has been called about in the past as well.

'A dangerous, large animal'

"It's a difficult case because you're talking about a dangerous, large animal. And as a homeowner, I wouldn't want to be faced with that," Swinimer said.

Nova Scotians with yards are advised not to leave soccer nets, loose hammocks and swings and netting around plants to avoid entangling deer. (CBC)

She advises people not to leave hammocks and swings loose.

"Even take them in if they are not in use." Ditto for soccer nets. 

Birds and smaller animals are easier to untangle and get to medical help, she said.

'Capture myopathy'

Deer are a different story.

"Deer get very stressed, they can die very easily from something called 'capture myopathy,'" she said. 

That happens when stress on the animal leads to a buildup of lactic acid in its muscles, changing the pH of the body and affecting the heart. Eventually the the muscle starts to die and other organs begin to fail.

"So time is of the essence with these creatures. We don't want them to suffer and die," Swinimer said. "It is something that we can simply fix by picking these items up and not leaving them out longer than they need to be out."

Hope Swinimer, founder of a wildlife rehabilitation centre, says deer can become so stressed that they die. (Hope for Wildlife/Facebook)

With files from Blair Sanderson