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VIDEO: Mule deer rescued from canal by cowboys

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Posted at 8:33 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 06:21:55-05

Cowboys helped provide a happy ending for a deer that was found swimming in a canal on Thursday morning near Peoria.

Three calls were made to the Arizona Game and Fish Department about a mule deer that was trapped in a Central Arizona Project canal near Lake Pleasant right off of the Carefree Highway. 

Officers Reuben Gonzales, David Mayer and Ryan Babel headed out to the area. 

Gonzales said the deer and other wildlife will oftentimes see the water, think they can scale down the side of the canal and slip into the water.

"Unfortunately we have no idea how long it was in the water," Gonzales said. 

Once officers with the department arrived to the scene, they found two cowboys who had already jumped the fence and were "very, very helpful" with a lasso. 

"You can tell he was stressed," Gonzales said about the deer. "He was cold." 

Once the deer made its way over to a bridge area, one of the cowboys, who was standing on the bridge, dropped the lasso directly onto the deer's antlers to help bring the animal out of the water. 

The animal was transported in the back of a truck and dropped off at the Lake Pleasant Regional Park, but it stood under the sun for 20 minutes as it warmed up.

"The water is pretty cold," he said. 

After it shopped shivering, the deer trotted away into the desert. 

The department thanks the two cowboys who took it upon themselves to help save the distressed animal. 

"We're very, very grateful for them," he said.