A one-day-old deer managed to get stuck underground in a rabbit hole overnight - before a quick-thinking farmer saved its life by dragging it out by its neck.
Pete Wesley and his wife Jane, 55, were doing their morning rounds in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, on June 2 when they spotted a red deer mum looking concerned before realising that her baby was lost under the grass.
Heart-stopping footage shows the 53-year-old reach into a chasm in the grass and grab the distressed fawn's neck, leading it to start crying.
After a minute of struggling, Pete managed to lift the baby animal free from the ground and returned it back to its mum, where it fed for half an hour.
Pete said: “The calf wouldn't have been able to get itself out of the hole on its own, it was well stuck.
"It couldn't have stood up in the hole so its only way out was how I pulled it out, which it wouldn't have been able to do under its own strength, even if the mum had tried to help.
"I did have to be a little firm with the calf but I didn't want it to shuffle further down the hole.
"The mum had just given birth the day before in that area so we went to check they were both ok. As we got there we noticed the hole and found it pretty quickly.
"Jane spotted the mum hanging around and we went over to check out what was happening. The mum was desperate, running all around the place.
"Fortunately she is one of the docile ones and she didn't go to attack me. They don't mean you any harm but they will try and fight you back away from their calf.
"The calf would have been in the hole overnight at least. Its mum was clearly full of milk when we got there so it hadn't fed for a good while."
The hole had first been created by a fox and rabbits but bad weather over the winter battered it leaving the hidden pit for the deer to fall into.
Pete said: "We've filled in that hole and others around the farm that we've seen to hopefully stop it happening again.
"This is the first time I've ever had to rescue an animal from a rabbit hole and we've been farming deer since 1994.
"As soon as it was out, the mum came over and they started feeding straight away. We watched for about 30 minutes as it was drinking, it must have been starving.
"I was really pleased we managed to rescue the fawn. If Jane hadn't spotted it when she did, I wouldn't have had the chance to get it out and it wouldn't have been able to survive.
“We do a daily sweep of the farm every morning, especially when the deer are calving to make sure everything is alright.
"It's our responsibility to keep the animals safe and looked after but it's still pleasing to have helped out here."