Deer: Rudolf

This week has had its usual ups and downs. As so often happens the wildlife features in the ups and the humans in the downs. A phone call

one Friday night alerted us to a deer that had been hit by a car. The young buck was hit so hard that his antlers were torn from his head and his back leg had lost most of the skin that covered his muscles. The driver who caused the impact looked back and drove off. Fortunately for the deer, the car behind stopped and put the dazed deer in a puppy crate he just happened to have in the car. The deer arrived and was immediately treated by our vet. His wounds were flushed and stitched and he was then placed in a heated stable with plenty of brambles, goat food, water and two feet of hay. Deer are timid creatures and are very wary of us, they seem to go into shock faster than most other patients and their care is fast and short. 

In the case of deer rehab, “leaving alone” is the key to recovery. The young buck now named Rudolf is doing remarkably well.

The following day (Saturday) we received another call. It was a similar situation but this time the callous motorist stopped, picked up the twitching deer and threw him into a ditch by his hooves! The caring motorist behind got out of his car and challenged the inhumane driver who was abusive and got in his car and drove off. The kind follower called for help and after a long wait the poor deer was finally put to sleep.

On Wednesday, we received a call from a lady who had seen a Muntjac fawn chased by a Labrador. The Labrador “was only playing” his owner said but his play resulted in a snap of the back calf of the fawn and so much flesh was removed that we were unable to stitch or repair it in any way, so the tiny creature had to be put to sleep.

The next morning at 7.30am another dog walker called. His two dogs had chased a deer into a barbed wire fence. The deer cut his neck badly and had two breaks - again she was put to sleep.

This is not something we do lightly and it is extremely stressful for all involved as we simply couldn’t help. The Labrador owner was visibly shaken by the actions of her dog but by then it was too late. Dogs need to be kept under control. If we hadn’t been able to corner the Muntjac she would still be out there slowly dying of infection and in a lot of pain.


Rudolph - our Roe buck - is doing well and is now nearly healed so over the next few weeks he will return to the wild where he belongs thanks to a very kind motorist.


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