Handling Wildlife – Deer
April 19th, 2015
REMEMBER you are responsible for your own safety and that of others. Even in following these guidelines you are at risk of harm and should enlist the help of a trained professional. Knoxwood will not be held responsible for any injures to yourself, others or property.
Please remember – you must never handle any wild bird or animal unless you are certain it needs help, and your sole intention is to provide that help.
If you can get close enough to a deer to handle it, then it usually needs some kind of assistance with the exception of baby deer, hundreds of these creatures die needlessly every year as they are mistakenly picked up, believed to be abandoned.
If you find this little guy all on his own, with no parent, no other deer, just left in a wood, scrub, hedge or field do not touch and WALK AWAY!
Deer are very hard to handle, they will fight you with their very last breath and will die of shock very easily and quickly. We advise every time to get the vet to sedate the deer before any attempt to move it is made – otherwise you are are at real risk of causing more harm than good.
Normally, unless the deer is very young there is very little that can be done for them one they are sick enough to be captured as they can run on 3 legs for weeks dragging an infected broken one behind them, or get infections in wounds that slow and kill them, the success rate for these injuries is very, very low and the vet will normally put the deer to sleep on site.
Should the injury have just happened the deer can be sedated and then moved to a sanctuary and as long as all this happens quickly there is much that can be done for the animal.
Keep calm, keep quiet, do not touch, get the vet!
Q. My vet just puts wildlife to sleep… I don’t want to call them, what should I do?
A. One of he most common reasons for a vet not to treat a wild animal is that there is simply nowhere for the animal or bird to go once it has been treated and the wild animal or bird will have been put through a lot of stress for no good reason. Most vet surgeries do not have the facilities to rehbilitate wildlife as you need space, and lots of time (sometimes months) to do this. If you can secure a place at a sanctuary, reserve or with a local rehabilitator for the wild bird or animal before you even get to the vet then it is far more likely they will treat it!