As Penny Paye Price enjoyed some family time with her husband and four children one day in late February in northern Wisconsin, they noticed a frozen baby deer outside their basement window.
The area the family lives in had recently been hit with extreme cold, heavy snow, and strong winds of up to 60 miles per hour, resulting in snowbanks up to eight feet high.
The deer was visibly weak. When he tried running, he collapsed.
At first, Price wasn’t sure if the deer, who appeared to be frozen solid, was alive. In an interview with Accuweather, she stated: “His eyes were stuck open and he was not moving at all. You could see more snow than you could see his fur.”
Following the advice of a family friend who is a humane officer, they wrapped the baby deer with warm towels.
After Price administered chest compressions for several minutes, the baby deer miraculously regained consciousness. He was relocated to the family’s heated garage, where Price fed him applesauce and water while the kids kept him warm.
The family even named the young buck: Giannis, after one of their favorite athletes, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources permitted the family to keep Giannis overnight.
The following morning, an employee from DNR picked Giannis up. Unfortunately, the agency decided it was in his best interests to be put down.
Despite the tragic outcome, Price’s kids learned an important lesson about having compassion for animals, found closure in her own way: “I try not to concentrate on that part and just know that we tried to help him stay comfortable and at least he died with love.”