TREVOR WEEKS: Three deer rescues in a challenging week

Eastbourne Coffee Rebublic muntjac deer, photograph courtesy of PCSO Tracy Honey SUS-170920-122535001Eastbourne Coffee Rebublic muntjac deer, photograph courtesy of PCSO Tracy Honey SUS-170920-122535001
Eastbourne Coffee Rebublic muntjac deer, photograph courtesy of PCSO Tracy Honey SUS-170920-122535001
Well rescues have been challenging this week. A very poorly goose had to be rescued at Arlington Reservoir last week.

Very hypothermic and dehydrated, the bird was rushed to our veterinary centre, where it was given emergency first aid warmed up, but sadly it passed away later that day. It looks as if the bird may have had a very high parasite burden causing the illness.

We have had three deer rescues. The first was a very difficult and upsetting rescue.

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We rushed across to Burwash where a lady had found a fallow deer injured and staggering around in the woods.

Once on site we managed to catch and assess the deer which had a nasty rear leg injury. The deer was not that difficult to catch and we wrapped him up in some sheeting and carried him back to our ambulance.

We gave emergency medication out on site under veterinary instruction, before being rushed back to WRAS’s casualty care centre.

Sadly the deer was in a bad way. The lower section of the rear leg was missing.

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The most likely cause was being caught in stock fencing. This leg had become heavily infected over time. There were fly eggs and maggots attracted to the horrendous smell.

The deer was severely emaciated and predators had clearly had a got too whilst in such a vulnerable condition.

With an operation just not possible in such a critical condition vets recommended euthanasia. This is why wildlife rescue centre can’t have a no kill policy, it would have been cruel to keep this animal alive.

Still a successful outcome, but an extremely sad and emotional outcome for everyone involved. Yet another life lost due to human activity.

The second deer call-out was to Waldron.

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Two deer had their antlers entangled in electric rope in a field. The caller said one of the deer was most likely dead but the second was thrashing around trying to get free.

We advised the caller to keep well away to help the deer calm down. It wasn’t long before we were on site, but securing the deer was not going to be easy as the deer kept leaping from one side of a wooden fence to the other.

Using our walk-towards net, we were able to entangle the deer and restrict its movements even more so we could gain control. It wasn’t long before we were cutting away the rope. In order to speed up the rescue effort we cut our walk-towards net too. Once everyone was clear, I released the deer in a controlled manner and it was nice to see the deer bash its way through the nearby bush to get away and out of site as quick as possible.

We also had a call to a small deer in Eastbourne town centre too. This certainly has to be one of the most unusual locations to rescue a deer so far – inside Coffee Republic in Terminus Road - right in the heart of Eastbourne town centre! Due to the urgency of the situation, I contact my colleague Chris Riddington, who was off duty, and asked him to attend as quickly as possible. I followed up in our technical rescue ambulance.

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It appears that whilst staff were out the back of the shop they inadvertently scared the deer inside the shop.

Staff managed to contain the young muntjac deer in the rear section of the shop with the help of local Sussex Police PCSOs until rescuers arrived.

The staff did the right thing in clearing the back of the store and keeping it contained in the end section of the shop.

When Chris arrived, they had managed to catch the deer and were pinning it to the floor.

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Deer can be very unpredictable, so he took over controlling the deer until I arrived. The deer was clearly very frightened. We needed to get the deer out of the coffee shop without it escaping and causing any further problems.

The deer was strapped and secured to a stretcher and carried through the shop to a quieter location where it was better assessed. Unfortunately, a wound to its tail needed treatment before the deer could be released.

It is always difficult dealing with deer.

You have a very limited time window to get them caught and out for released or into care or they could die of a heart attack.

The wound on its tail was given emergency first aid before being taken to the edge of the Downs for release. He was very wobbly at first but once in the fresh air and after a couple of minutes to compose himself the deer suddenly rocketed off into the distance. .

This has to be one of the most unusual deer rescue locations we have ever dealt with,” said Trevor.

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