Orphaned fawn on the mend

A TINY muntjac fawn has been adopted by staff at a wildlife recue centre in Essex after her mother was killed by a car.

Elliot Furniss

A TINY muntjac faun has been adopted by staff at a wildlife recue centre in Essex after her mother was killed by a car.

The little orphan is now being cared for by the team at Wildlives rescue and rehabilitation centre in Thorrington, near Colchester.

Named Fleur, the diminutive deer is just a few days old and was found by a member of the public, pining at the body of her mother on the A134 Sudbury to Colchester road on Tuesday.

The RSPCA were called in to help and Wildlives manager Rosie Catford was asked to take on the youngster, who has proved a tough little character.

She said: “She only came in yesterday. She's got a few injuries herself. She has some lumps on her head and some abrasions on her legs and is in shock, but apart from that she seems to be doing ok.”

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Ms Catford said muntjac were not native to the UK but were brought over from China and it was now illegal to release them back into the wild without the right authority.

She said: “We have a license from Defra and when she is old enough, after about five or six months, she can be released close to where she was found.”

More and more injured, orphaned or traumatised muntjac are being brought into Wildlives, and Ms Catford said that in this instance, the good Samaritan who called the RSPCA did exactly the right thing.

She said: “We get a lot of them in here now who have got themselves into trouble. They have got small heads and small shoulders but big back-ends and they get stuck in fences and railings a lot.

“Because her mother was dead, she would have died too. Quite often a mother will go off and leave the young in the bushes and people find them and think they are abandoned.

“But this one was clearly in need of help. She could have been knocked over at the same time but just not sustained the same kind of fatal injuries as her mother.

“Everyone here is falling in love with her. There is very little handling of her though. She is tiny, but incredibly strong already and is now being bottle fed every two hours.”

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