CROSSVILLE — Cumberland Mountain State Park Ranger Mark Houston and Nathan Potter, with park maintenance, assist a doe in reaching the shore of the state park lake Monday morning. The doe, a three-legged doe often spotted around the park, had fallen through the ice on the lake. Using a fishing boat, paddles and something to break the ice, Houston and Potter paddled out and found she was struggling to get out. It took 30 minutes to break through the ice and direct the deer back to dry land.
Ranger Monica Johnson said the park had been keeping an eye on the deer for some time. She was hit by a vehicle last year and the injured leg subsequently fell off. She gets along pretty well, Johnson told the Chronicle, and cares for her two fawns. After she was out of the lake, they were able to cover her with blankets and straw to bring her body temperature back up. Soon, she was walking around outside the pen and, just a few minutes later, she was heading back into the woods after her fawns. Johnson said the doe was a fighter and a park treasure.