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See it: 12-year-old Long Island boy saves baby deer that fell into backyard pool

12-year-old boy saves baby deer that fell in backyard pool
12-year-old boy saves baby deer that fell in backyard pool 02:14

ST. JAMES, N.Y. -- A video is going viral -- and you will soon know why.

Millions are watching a 12-year-old Long Island boy rescue a newborn fawn after she fell in his backyard pool.

CBS2 met the local hero on Tuesday in St. James.

"Dad comes in, he goes, 'Anthony, there's a baby deer right over here.' And I'm like, 'What?'" Anthony Masaitis said. "So it came straight by the chicken coop and then it came up here."

Dad started recording the tiny fawn never dreaming she'd fall in the pool.

"Just get her out. Just pull her out," Gregory Masaitis says on video.

Dad have instructions and Anthony, a sixth grader, tried not to panic.

"When it fell in the pool, I'm like, 'She's not going to make it out,'" Anthony said. "If she goes to the deep end, I'm going to have to jump in."

It was a sudden emergency in their backyard in St. James.

"It was doing the dog paddle," Anthony said.

When asked if the fawn was in danger of going under, Anthony said, "I just kind of grabbed her from here."

But then the baby fawn fall back in.

"I put her here first. Then she kind of wobbled back in," Anthony said.

"Go back here. Hurry up. Let the mother come take care of her," his father said.

"From my research, she was just like 3 or 4 hours old," Anthony said.

Experts say a doe having recently given birth nurses and visits her fawn only several times a day to avoid attracting predators.

"I was concerned with touching the baby and putting human scent on the baby," Gregory Masaitis said.

"I couldn't stop thinking all night, is she going to be okay? Did she find her mother?" Anthony said.

But they got great news. Hours later, the Masaitis family photographed doe and fawn together in their backyard woods.

"Saving a baby deer -- not a lot of kids get that experience it," Anthony said. "If we weren't home she would have drowned."

When asked if his classmates at school know about the adventure, Anthony said, "Oh yeah, definitely, 100%. My friends are like, 'You're famous. Can I have your autograph?'"

"I saved a little baby!" he added.

Anthony begins sixth grade finals next week. He says helping and then learning about the baby deer was the greatest lesson of all.

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