HARMONY TOWNSHIP — New Jersey State Police recruits aren't exactly taught how to rescue drowning deer, but that didn't stop a state trooper from pulling a buck from a swimming pool in Warren County Friday.

"The most rewarding thing that we can do as troopers is to save a life, human or animal," NJ State Police said in a Facebook statement Sunday.

When Trooper Dwayne Phillips arrived at a Harmony Township home at 12:39 p.m., he discovered a deer that was struggling to stay afloat in a swimming pool. Police say it was clear the the buck had been struggling for some time and was getting tired.

Phillips immediately grabbed the deer by its rack and pulled it out of the water, police said.

"Now believe it or not, we don't necessarily teach recruits in the academy how to rescue drowning deer, but we do teach them how to think on their feet and adapt and improvise when a peculiar situation presents itself," police said on Facebook.

According to authorities, troopers often face serious injury to themselves when trying to rescue a victim and the danger is even greater when trying to rescue a wild animal.

Police say after the deer was pulled from the pool, it was exhausted and remained on the ground for several minutes. Eventually, though, it regained enough energy to stand and run off.

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