Herds of white-tailed deer are not uncommon in New Jersey. In fact, they’re often seen grazing on roadsides and backyards. Thankfully, the white-tailed deer population is not in danger of natural predators in this area. Then again, they do encounter other predators like domestic dogs, motorists, and humans. But one deer in the area almost lost its life to something that was totally random. Then a natural predator came by and saved the day and its life.
In the Colts Neck area, a homeowner noticed a deer with a furry, brown body, and long, skinny legs walking around his backyard. But there was something off about this creature. It looked like he had some kind of bowl on its head, almost like a space helmet. So, the owner walked over to get a closer look, and was shocked. It didn’t take long for him to see that the young deer’s life was in great jeopardy.
Somehow, the deer had stuck his head in a glass bowl, and it had obviously been shunned by its herd because it wasn’t traveling with any other deer. At a press release, the Monmouth County SPCA (MCSPCA) said: “Certain species will treat members as outcasts if they look different or are injured so to not invite predators or disrupt the integrity of the herd.” This was bad news for the deer.
With the bowl on its head, the deer wasn’t just having issues breathing. It couldn’t drink or eat either. Under the circumstances, it was safe to assume that the deer wouldn’t survive for very long if it couldn’t do these three things effectively. Now the homeowner realized he needed to help the deer, but he also needed help to accomplish this, so he called the MCSPCA, as well as the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The first thing they had to do was to sedate the buck. Then the rescue team could start helping. The MCSPCA went on Facebook and wrote: “The glass bowl was removed, which turned out to be a light fixture cover, which probably had been filled with water the deer tried to drink. The buck was dehydrated from four days without food and water and had a couple of scrapes probably from the poor visibility but was able to get up and walk away after we cleaned him up and the sedative had worn off.”
Although the bowl was removed from the deer, something else happened. After the MCSPCA left the scene, they got another call from the homeowner claiming that the deer was on the ground and having difficulty breathing. They eventually realized that the buck hadn’t drank or eaten in nearly 5 days. So once again, more help was called to save the buck.
The deer was fed 600 milliliters of fluid by one of the most experienced veterinary technicians from the shelter. “We could tell he was completely dehydrated by the way he looked,” said the vet. “After we administered the fluids his head perked right up, and after a few minutes his breathing returned to normal.” The question remained, would it be strong enough to rejoin its kind or did the crisis sever that bond permanently?
The team watched from a safe distance as the deer stood and started walking again. Eventually, it mustered enough energy to trot. Then it dashed and leaped over a fence and into the woods at full-speed. The MCSPCA hadn’t gotten any more calls of a wayward buck. This meant that that buck got a second lease on life after its ordeal with a bowl, which was an abandoned light fixture. But you know something? That wasn’t the only time a deer in distress was rescued…
It’s extremely difficult to communicate and interact with wild animals, so this story will definitely warm your heart. Now obviously when you reach out to help an animal, you want to assure them everything will be okay. But they’re animals. They don’t understand us. But one guy named Darius, documented the incredible journey of how he took swift action when he found a fawn, which had been injured.
The fawn appeared to have been trying to walk, but it also seemed to have an injury on one of its legs, which made it impossible to keep up with its family. Darius told The Dodo, “The fawn was helpless. She was just born earlier that day, and still had some blood on her belly.” She was only a day old and was already injured. Sadly, her mother had kept on walking and didn’t look back. Darius realized he had to do something, fast.
Darius brought the deer home and made a split using a cardboard oatmeal box. He didn’t name the fawn either out of fear of getting too attached. Under normal circumstances, Darius doesn’t condone making pets out of wild animals, “but this was a special situation.” The fawn wouldn’t have survived the wilderness without protection, food, or water.
But was the tiny fawn happy to have found a new home? Darius said: “She was very hungry and had no problem with any of my pets. For the first week, she slept by my bed on my shirt, and the shirt became very important to her. She had to have it to be able to sleep.” The oatmeal box splint he used had allowed her leg to grow stronger. Darius also fed her every four hours during the recovery process.
Darius shared: “I had to do some Internet search and reading to be able to understand how to raise a fawn, get up at night to feed her every four hours, and clean her after.” Eventually, the fawn figured out how to walk evenly, which boosted her morale, and she also formed a special bond with one of Darius’ dogs, Mack, who kept on licking the fawn in the face, and became the wild animal’s pseudo parent.
It took a lot of work, but the fawn’s leg was now working perfectly, which meant that Darius had to let her go, despite the bond they had formed. “She’s already used to me, and she follows me,” said Darius. “But nobody can replace her real mom.” But it was difficult. Darius had taken the fawn out to the woods to release her into the wild in hopes of reuniting with her family, but she always came back. Then something happened…
“Since day one I was hoping to release baby deer back to the wild,” he shared. “I really hoped that she did not get attached to me too much, because that would make it very hard to survive in the wild.” Since her eventual reunion with her own family, Darius has seen the fawn side by side with her deer family several times. “I’ve seen the family many times after release, also seen them recently in the fall,” he added. “The mother deer usually does not go too far from the place where she feels safe, so she stays around the area. It is a very, very good feeling seeing them safe roaming around.” Fortunately, his good deed gave the fawn a second chance. Now isn’t this a happy ever after or what?