PANAMA CITY BEACH (FOX 13) - When you become a Fish & Wildlife officer, you never know whom -- or what -- you might be called upon to rescue.
A kayaker recently flagged down FWC's Major Bruce Cooper while he was on patrol along Panama City Beach. The woman was concerned because she had seen two deer on the beach run directly into the water and swim away from shore.
Cooper himself soon spotted two small heads in the water more than 1,000 yards from shore. It's not uncommon for deer to swim, but as he approached the deer, he realized they appeared to be fatigued and disoriented from trying to fight against the 2- to 4-foot waves.
"Cooper was able to guide them toward shore and gently navigate them back to land," an FWC Facebook post explained.
When the doe and her yearling finally reached the beach, they ran to safety over the dunes and into St. Andrews State Park.
A Facebook user replied to the post, wondering why the deer were swimming in the first place.
"Sorry, we don't have an answer for that," FWC replied with a winking emoji. "We'll try to track down the deer for questioning."
FWC also reminded citizens that anyone who sees an injured animal can call the 24-hour hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).