At Donaldson’s Vets we work closely with the RSPCA, sometimes attending to stray animals involved in road accidents, at other times with cruelty cases. However, occasionally we have to go “on safari” with the inspectors.

Last week was such a case, when a roe deer was reported to have become trapped in an estate of industrial units in the Colne valley. As the compound had only one entrance, the animal could not find its way out. So there it stayed for two weeks, its daily diet of browsing on bushes supplemented by the good natured local people feeding a mixture of apples and baby spinach. Roe deer are becoming more common around Huddersfield and a few do try to become townies. However, this situation is not sustainable, so it was decided that the deer would have to be sedated by dart gun and then released to a more appropriate environment.

So last Friday morning, we accompanied the RSPCA marksman to the site, our job as vets was to supply the sedatives at the correct dosage and monitor the animals health throughtout the procedure. As the deer had become relatively tame, it was not too difficult for the dart to find its target in the deer’s rump. The animal immediately ran for cover, but within 10 minutes was sound asleep. A quick check revealed it to be a young male in good health, its extra diet obviously keeping it in peak condition!

We quickly carried the buck on a stretcher to a specially protective crate, before driving to a suitably wooded area on the outskirts of town where deer are known to thrive. After a final checkover and an injection to reverse the sedative, “Bambi” wandered off to explore his new and hopefully happier home.