Watch as rescuers save frozen deer from icy Colorado lake using a crane and a "Snuggie"

CPW rescuing a deer from Evergreen Lake
The buck was saved from an icy predicament thanks to a passing crane operator (Image credit: CPW NE Region)

Snowy and icy conditions make for treacherous conditions for Colorado wildlife as well as drivers, and one deer had a lucky escape from an icy predicament last week. The young buck was rescued from a frozen lake near Denver using a combination of heavy machinery and what amounts to a cozy novelty item that makes a popular Christmas gift.

In a video posted to Facebook by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which you can watch below, the deer can be seen trapped on a narrow ledge between a vertical snowy rock wall and frozen Evergreen Lake. The deer looks extremely frosty thanks to the wintery conditions in the mountain town west of Denver.

Rescuers can be seen lowering themselves on belay from a busy, snow-covered road as snow plows trundle past, but extracting the deer looks impossible. However, as luck would have it, a passing crane truck officer stops and comes to the deer's aid.

"When life gives you cranes, use it to help rescue a deer," writes the CPW in the post.

"In a rather lucky twist, a nearby crane truck operator stopped to help and gave our officers a much-welcomed lift."

They explain on social media platform X that after sedating the deer, they wrapped him in a "Snuggie-like contraption" – referring to the full-length fleece blanket with sleeves – in order to hoist him to safety.

"Our wildlife officer, Ian, used his rope-lassoing skills to hook the deer up to the crane."

After successfully saving the deer from icy peril,  CPW relocated him to a wooded area where he can be seen in the video below walking away seemingly unscathed.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.