We have all heard of the phrase 'a deer caught in the headlights' - but an off-duty vet saved a deer which had got its head caught between steel railings.

A neighbour flagged down Lara Viner as she arrived back at her Coopers Muse home and took her to the distressed animal, which had been trapped in the railings in High Elms Lane, Garston, for more than two hours.

The 31-year-old calmed the deer and examined it before the animal was freed back in to nearby woods by firefighters

The veterinary surgeon from the Blythwood Vets & Well Animal Clinic said: "My neighbour came running over saying ‘we’ve got a job for you’ and I could hear this screaming.

"The deer had run across the road straight into the railings - it was very frightened and kept head-butting the railings in a bid to free itself. It had also rubbed off its fur in places.

"But there were no broken bones and the firemen used their equipment to free the deer’s head from the railings and it shot across the path into the woods.

Watford Observer:

"We were all very pleased and it was unusual for me - I didn’t have any equipment with me and I only usually deal with smaller animals, so it was nice to be able to help out."

Mrs Viner said the deer was dehydrated and distressed but should have made a full recovery from the incident. 

Watford Observer:

She added: "It had been there hours so it was fortunate we got to it when we did. The RSPCA had been called but it would have had to have taken it to a vet before it could be released."

The cyclist contacted the vet to praise her "impressive work".