NOTRE-DAME-DE-MONTAUBAN -- A deer that fell through the ice on the Batiscan River in the Mauricie region is alive thanks to the combined efforts of residents in the small rural community.

Video of the incident was shared on Facebook by Jacinthe Arsenault, a resident of Notre-Dame-de-Montauban, a community about 230 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

At 8 a.m. on Friday, passersby saw the imperilled deer and knocked on Arsenault's door, asking her to call for help in rescuing the animal.

Arsenault called agents from the province's wildlife ministry, but they were more than an hour away. Other neighbours began to gather closer to the deer to see how they could help.

Municipal authorities were called, and one of those employees managed to get a small boat into the water near the deer.

They ties the animal’s antlers with rope and five people worked together to pull it out of the frigid water.

Visibly exhausted after spending about two and a half hours in the river, the animal rested for a short time before returning to the wild.

"Thank you to the people who helped save the poor deer," said Arsenault in her Facebook post.

- With files from CTV's Marianne Drouin