SCARBOROUGH’S historic Spa cliff lift ground to halt – after a rogue deer leapt on to the track.
The marauding male adult roe deer jumped the lift’s wire fencing barrier to spark a major rescue operation.
Staff cut holes in fencing either side of the lift’s cars to encourage the deer to make a break for freedom.
The lift was closed for more than an hour yesterday morning as lift staff and Geoff Edmond, Scarborough’s RSPCA inspector, attempted to coax the frightened animal to safety.
The deer moved from one side of the lift track to the other before pacing up and down a perimeter fence for more than an hour.
It was spotted by one of the cliff lift’s drivers around 9.30am as he began setting up for the day.
The track was immediately closed – signs were hastily amended to read ‘deer on line’ – as the rescuers got to work.
Onlookers gathered at either end of the lift and watched nervously as the deer attempted to negotiate its way out of the fenced area.
And after being coaxed towards one of the holes in the fence by driver and cashier Peter McCutcheon, the deer finally made its bid for freedom and leapt back into woodland before disappearing into the undergrowth.
Mr Edmond, who marshalled the rescue from the lift’s Esplanade station, said he was delighted the animal was safe and well.
He said: “This was a good result because you cannot force a deer, you have got to give them confidence and coax them out.
“Deers get very stressed therefore the issue of trying to get into the track and force it out was not an option.
“It was not a difficult rescue but it was one that brought pressure because the deer could have injured itself on the fencing or the lift equipment.
“You have to be calm and patient with deers and that was why it was important for people to stand back and allow the deer space to get out.”The lift was re-opened for customers around 11am.