THE moving moment a kind-hearted motorist helped save the life of a stag tangled in a wire fence has been captured on video.
The majestic creature kicks for its life and is visibly distressed as it lays in mud at the side of the road near Portree, Skye.
Robert Lafferty, originally from Newcastle, but now living in Kinloss, Moray, saw the stag and three other deer in a near-miss with a motorist up ahead.
He watched as the spooked creatures ran for safety and realised that one of the deer was on the ground. Thinking it had been hit and badly injured by the car, he went to check.
When the warehouse administrator got to the roadside, he realised the terrified deer had its hoof twisted tightly between two thin pieces of metal and was unable to move. Had Robert not checked, the animal would almost certainly have suffered a slow death.
The 36-year-old struggled for half an hour using a flat stone to try and wedge the thin strands of metal apart – and was relieved when a passerby stopped and produced a multi-tool kit.
The pair finally freed the spooked stag, which immediately slipped while trying to run away, fell over, and locked a hoof in its antlers.
Robert then had to launch a second rescue attempt using a large stick to dislodge the stag’s hoof – before it finally ran off.
The distressing footage begins with Robert walking towards the stag, which is lying on its back in a patch of mud – with its hoof in the air and trapped between two thin pieces of wire fencing.
The anxious stag begins to kick with its front legs as Robert tries to calm him down, saying: “Wait, woah, wait a minute, woah.”
The deer kicks its free leg back towards Robert, who heeds the warning and says ‘Ok’ as he backs off from the fence.
Backing off, he can be seen trying to pull apart the wire with trepidation – wary of being hit by the stag’s powerful legs.
Speaking today, Robert said: “He was absolutely huge, about 10 stone, and I didn’t want to be kicked by that.
“I struggled for about half an hour with a flat rock, I was trying to wedge the fencing apart as it had wrapped around the deer’s hoof and it was really quite tight.
“Thankfully a lovely gentleman with a caravan stopped and he had a multi-tool on him. We managed to cut it out at the post and untangle it.
“The deer was still spooked, and when it tried to run off it slipped in the mud. So this time he had his neck twisted and his foot stuck in his antlers. I had to use a big stick to push them apart, I didn’t want to risk getting impaled on his antlers.
“The other deer were watching us in the background the entire time, which was intimidating, but we finally got him free and he ran off.”
On social media, Sarah Coleman said: “Well done guys. Heroes!”
Nancy Brunt added: “Nice to know that there are some kind people out there.”
Elaine McWhirter commented: “Thank you for saving this beautiful animal.”
While Marie Macdonald joked: “Oh yes, sometimes heroes have tools instead of capes.”
Jay Wallace added: “It has been a long winter for them. I’ve seen so many over the past few weeks, they are too weak to be bothered about hiding from anyone.”
And Sylvie Biber wrote: “Thank you for helping! These fences are terrible, it’s not just wildlife that gets injured and dies in it if not helped.”
In February this year stunned holidaymakers watched as a huge hungry stag stole some bird feed at a hotel.
The starving stag was spotted strolling onto patio decking outside of Glenfinnan House in Lochaber, a popular Highland retreat.