- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for Deer rescued from Lowell canal by MassWildlife and Environmental Police
Marion Larson, MassWildlife
Lowell — On the morning on June 3, a call to the Environmental Police Radio Room reported that a white-tailed deer had been seen walking along and swimming in the Lowell canals. The state’s Large Animal Response Team (LART) traveled to Lowell to assess the situation. LART consists of biologists from the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and Environmental Police officers who are specially trained in the chemical immobilization of large animals.
In most instances, it is best to allow an animal to make its way out of urban areas on their own. But after observing the deer and seeing the canals, high walls, and nearby fences and roads, the team determined that the deer should be removed from the area. With LART staff positioned on a boat in the water and on the bank, the deer was immobilized and safely carried out of the canal. The animal was then taken to a nearby forest for release and monitored by MassWildlife staff until the effects of the immobilizing drug wore off.
The Lowell deer was a yearling (1 year old) female. In spring, yearling deer are often pushed away by their mothers in anticipation of new fawns. Occasionally, inexperienced young deer can wander into very urban environments and cause public safety issues. In most cases, intervention is not required and the animals make their way back to more suitable habitat on their own. Learn more about white-tailed deer and the Large Animal Response Team.