A helicopter pilot is being praised after he came to the rescue of a deer and her fawn who were stuck on frozen ice - by blowing them to safety with the chopper's rotor blades.

The exhausted deer and her baby were trapped on the thin, frozen waters of Antigonish Harbour in Nova Scotia, Canada, last month.

Retired biologist Ian Waugh caught the rescue on camera and, according to ninemsn.com.au, told CTV: "It caught my eye that the female was down on the ice and every time she tried to get up, she would fall back down and she was splayed out in just one of those positions that makes you go 'ugh'."

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was called out, but the ice was deemed too thin and dangerous to walk on.

A few hours later, Mr Waugh observed a DNR helicopter swooping low over the stranded deer.

Frightened by the chopper, the fawn ran for the shoreline, and the wind from the propellers began to push the mother across the ice.

According to LiveLeak.com, Mr Waugh said: "Because the ice was so smooth, the wash was so powerful that it actually started to push the deer."

A DNR officer and the pilot helped the deer to its feet once it was on dry land. Waugh later saw the deer and her fawn reunited in the woods.

He said: "It was just brilliant. It was a solution exactly tailored to the situation."

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