A New York woman played the role of lifeguard in her own pool, but it wasn't a person she pulled to safety — it was a baby deer struggling to stay afloat.
The backyard for the Cifuni family in New City is usually a calm and relaxing place, but that was interrupted Saturday afternoon when the unexpected visitor showed up at the pool. Danielle Cifuni said she heard a splash and expected to see one of the family dogs in the swimming pool, but instead discovered the baby deer struggling to swim.
Her first reaction? Jump in to assist the helpless animal, fully clothed.
"It literally grabbed my shoulder like a baby, like it was catching its breath and it started crying. I've never heard a baby deer cry," Cifuni said.
She said it took her several attempts of trying to hoist the terrified fawn back onto land from the deep end of her pool.
"That's ten feet of water, so I'm not able to stand. So I'm doing this while treading water," she said. "Luckily my son called my husband and was yelling, 'Daddy, there's a baby deer outside.' He's like OK yea, there's always baby deer out there, and he's like no it's in the pool with mommy!"
Once Cifuni's husband and son Dylan came over to help, the deer scampered off into the nearby woods, where its mother was waiting. It was a touching sight for the mother, who said she was just doing what she does best.
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"I know I could have taken more time to maybe go get something for it, but just the look in the baby's eyes, the fawn's eyes, you could just see the fear, and I needed to do something now," Cifuni said. "It was just real mom-mode, and instinct took over and I'm glad it had a happy ending."
Cifuni did get a little banged up and bruised from the deer kicking her, but she wasn't seriously hurt. She said that the same deer have been coming back to visit since the rescue, but now are keeping their distance from the pool.