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Deaf Minnesota man details icy river deer rescue

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 5, 2016 at 3:53 PM

DULUTH, Minn., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A deaf Minnesota man who rescued a deer from an icy river recounted the incident in American Sign Language while the deer rested behind him.

Steven Peterson, 50, of Duluth, recorded a video Dec. 28 right after pulling the deer from the Kettle River alongside Interstate 35 in Pine County.

The video features Peterson using ASL to recount the rescue while the deer, which he named Miss Ice River, rests and poses for the camera behind him.

Peterson says he was driving over a nearby bridge when he noticed the deer crawling across the ice. He said he was able to crawl out onto the ice, tie a rope to the deer's head and pull it to safety.

"I am happy for the deer to be safe now," he says.

Peterson, who is also mute, told the Duluth News Tribune he was worried that calling 911 would take too long due to his problems communicating.

"Being a deaf individual, I knew the struggle to communicate with the police would take too long. I knew if I tried my best, I might be able to save this animal," he said. "I felt so proud and overjoyed that I overcame the challenge of the situation. The deer could have drowned at any time, but I was able to rescue it on my own."

Peterson said he stayed with the deer for about an hour to make sure it would be able to leave on its own.

"I knew this was a strong deer. It would be OK," he said. "I said my farewell to Miss Ice River and left."

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