A Colorado family woke up to quite a surprise Sunday morning when they noticed an unusual guest swimming in their backyard pool.
A deer had managed to get stuck and was struggling to make its way out. But homeowner Scott Smith hadn't even realized the deer was there until his dogs called the backyard visitor to his attention.
"Originally when I put my dogs out at six in the morning, they were just barking and barking and I didn't think much of it. They started barking again at eight, and I just happened to look outside and I noticed my bubble cover on my pool was in this big wad," Smith told ABC News. "So I went outside and took a look, and there was a big old buck floating in the middle of the pool on top of the bubble cover."
Smith said he's not sure how long the deer had been in the pool. He believes he may have fallen in the night before, but hopes for the deer's sake it wasn't until later in the morning.
When Smith realized the deer was trapped, he wasn't sure what to do first or who the best person was to contact for help.
"The first thing I did was just freak out about my pool because it's just totally destroyed. Then I called my family members. I said, 'You're just not going to believe this.' So after I did that, a bunch of them came over and we were trying to figure out what should we do. So we started looking for numbers for the humane society, and then the wildlife division, and then after that I just called 911," Smith said.
Once everyone had gathered in the backyard to try to help the buck, they were all brainstorming the best possible ways to safely remove it from the four and half feet of water. "He was just splashing around pretty good," Smith said.
The deer wasn't able to touch the bottom of the pool, so he was using the bubble cover as a flotation device.
"We eventually called the Colorado Springs Fire Department and they came over and we all worked on the best solution to get him out. We ended up building a 16-foot ramp out of some plywood and some spare boards I had around the house," Smith explained.
Despite their best attempts to lure the buck onto the ramp and out of the water, it didn't work right away. It wasn't until they nudged him a little with a rope that the 25 to 30 people that had gathered in Smith's backyard were able to set the deer free.
"We finally got a rope around his rear and nudged him and kept nudging him until he finally got on the ramp. But he still stood there for about half an hour. He was just exhausted."
Once the deer was out of the water, he immediately ran away. The animal wasn't injured, but the same can't be said for Smith's pool - $2,500 in damages later, Smith said his pool is "destroyed."