A STAG was safely rescued after becoming entangled in a net.

Officers from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service helped free the trapped animal from a cricket net in a garden in Storrington on Sunday morning.

The service’s Technical Rescue Unit (TRU) was mobilised to a property off Greenhurst Lane after the homeowner spotted the trapped animal.

Michael Lewin, TRU watch manger, said: “When we arrived at the property the stag’s antlers were well and truly tangled up in the net.

“Fortunately it looks as though the homeowner had spotted him fairly swiftly, as the animal didn’t look as though it had been thrashing about too much or torn the net down as it tried to wriggle free.

“Quite often in these incidents they panic when they realise they are trapped and will throw themselves about to try and get themselves free, and this makes the situation worse.

“Luckily the homeowners were in at the time, and thanks to their quick thinking the RSPCA and ourselves were able to get to the property fairly swiftly and help.”

As well as untangling the stag’s antlers, Mr Lewin said the unit’s main priority in this kind of situation is to always to try to keep the animal calm, which he said can be “easier said than done”.

He added: “Deer can very easily go into shock and when that happens they often don’t pull through.

“So once we had the animal under control and those dangerous antlers safely in our grip, we covered its eyes to try and calm it down.

“We were then able to successfully untangle the net and release the

stag once the RSPCA had given him a quick once over.

“He trotted off quite happily into the undergrowth.”