The farmer who performed an emergency C-section on a dying doe at the side of a B.C. highway to save its fawn says it “was no big deal.”

Sean Steele, a farmer from Barrhead, Alta., was near Smithers last week when the truck in front of him struck the very pregnant doe.

Steele jumped out of his vehicle with his knife to put down the injured doe "because she was suffering," and dragged her off to the ditch.

But that's when he realized the animal was pregnant, and used his knife to perform an emergency caesarean.

"I seen the uterus and the foot hanging out. I cut the fawn out," he told CTV Vancouver.

But then he faced another hurdle: the newborn wasn't breathing. So the farmer sprang into action a second time, cleaning the mucus out of its mouth and nose.

"[I] stuffed a piece of grass up its nose to get it to sneeze and clear its lungs out. And then wiped it down and it started breathing," he said.

Steele bundled up the fawn in a blanket and put it into a basket in his backseat.

He and his wife dropped it off to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers, where the youngster received deer milk and is currently recovering.

Shelter founder Angelika Langen applauded Steele’s actions, saying the fawn would not have survived very long if he hadn’t intervened.

“It’s pretty extraordinary,” Langen said.

“The fawn is doing really well and the long-term outlook is that she will be released back to the wild in September or October.” 

It has been named Friday, after the day it was rescued.

A longtime hunter and fisherman, Steele said he's not sure if it was instinct or curiosity that propelled him into action.

For his part, he's just surprised by how much attention he's getting for an act he felt was second nature.

"I guess it's just a story that everyone likes to hear," he said.

fawns northern lights sanctuary