Deer seen swimming in Lake Erie

CLEVELAND - A viewer at WCPO's sister station, WEWS in Cleveland, captured unusual photographs of a deer swimming about 1,000 yards off the Lake Erie shoreline Thursday.

Ralph Stock told WEWS he was perch fishing out of Cleveland near the lighthouse, when the deer started swimming toward his boat.

Here's Stock's account of what happened:

"We immediately pulled north of him to try to convince him to swim back to shore and then a pontoon boat came and tried to help us as well. We called the Coast Guard and a ODNR boat came to help him. We left when he got on the inside breakwall, but we saw him climb back down lakeside as we were leaving."

Stock said he saw the deer eventually make it to shore.

A birdwatcher at a nearby park saw the deer come back in toward land. He said once the deer was within 15 feet of the shore and able to stand in the water, it just stood there for about a half-hour, nearly falling asleep from exhaustion.

The lake's temperature Thursday was a chilly 59 degrees.


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