FORT BENTON, Mont. — A north-central Montana man rescued a tired fawn from a bed of drying sewer sludge while others helped reunite the baby deer with its mother nearby.
Joe Bauer said Wednesday's rescue was a rewarding experience, but his co-workers "didn't want him anywhere near them" until he showered and changed his clothes.
Fort Benton city crew members were working on the sewage lagoon when someone told works superintendent Skip Ross a fawn was stuck in the black sludge.
Ross tells the Great Falls Tribune he tasked Bauer, 19, with the unpleasant duties.
Bauer slogged more than 100 yards (91 meters) through the thigh-deep sludge to reach the distressed fawn, which didn't fight being rescued.
"Honestly, it was fairly welcoming," Bauer said.
He carried the fawn to the bank of the nearby Missouri River, Ross said.
After the fawn regained its strength, Ross says others guided it back to its mother, avoiding the short-cut across the sludge.
Ross said Bauer's efforts were admirable.
"It's just straight sludge," Ross said. "It's not clean stuff, it's pretty dirty. I hate to say it, but it's a lot of poop."