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Heart-Stopping Rescue: Wandering near a Florida suburb, an expectant mother deer gazed around a front yard, unsure of what to do. The deer had gotten stuck in a trash can lid and was now having a lot of trouble getting around.

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“We were immediately hit with that feeling of anxiousness and panic.”

Wandering near a Florida suburb, an expectant mother deer gazed around a front yard, unsure of what to do. The deer had gotten stuck in a trash can lid and was now having a lot of trouble getting around.

When animal advocates from Wild Florida Rescue saw the deer, they knew they had to help — and fast.

“We were pretty confident that she was pregnant right away, as her belly was large,” Heather Pepe, Wild Florida Rescue chief operations officer and cofounder, told The Dodo. “That was the most stressful part … We were immediately hit with that feeling of anxiousness and panic.”

For weeks, a team of rescuers and veterinarians tracked the maMMA deer, trying in vain to safely capture her and remove the trash can lid from around her neck. But the nervous deer kept getting away, no matter how hard rescuers tried to find her.

“We were there for hours and hours each day,” Pepe said.

Nearly a month after they’d first spotted her, community members noticed the deer was with a small fawn. Miraculously, the resilient mama had managed to give birth while trapped in the piece of trash.

Rescuers couldn’t believe the deer’s luck. But they were in for another surprise.

A few weeks later, as they continued efforts to help the deer, someone noticed something amazing — the deer had managed to free herself.

“She eventually walked through some trees just the right way to get it off, or some other miracle happened!” Pepe said.

Free at last, this tough mother deer is surely happy to be safe with her baby in the wild.

“Mother and fawn have been seen many times,” Pepe said. “Both are thriving!”

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