Learning from Dogs

Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.

The death of one of our deer.

with 6 comments

A very sad start to our Saturday.

Of course, they are not ‘our’ deer, far from it.  But over the past months we have come to love the daily, sometime twice-daily, visits of these beautiful creatures to our property.

Early last Saturday morning, as Jean went to feed the chickens and our two miniature horses, just the other side of the grass track she saw a deer lying prone under the trees.

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Jean was certain that it was dead and a few minutes later when together we went up to the creature it was obvious that this was the case.

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Closer inspection revealed that the deer was one that we had got to know; an elderly lady that had previously lost the sight of her right eye.  My guess was that the poor animal had been dead for something under twenty-four hours.  There were no obvious signs of an attack by dogs or other creatures.  Jean and I hope that she died from old age.

Rather than bury the deer on our property and run the risk of wild carnivores digging it up, we telephoned Wildlife Images, who are close by, because we knew that sometimes dead wild animals make valuable feeding for their precious inhabitants.

Wildlife Images rehabilitation and education center.

Wildlife Images rehabilitation and education center.

However, the fact that we couldn’t guarantee that the dead deer had not been contacted by other wild animals meant that the carcass could not be fed to  Wildlife Images’ guests, for fear of disease.  (NB: Anyone interested in visiting or helping the centre, please do watch this video.)

So, will close on a happier note by including a photograph taken a couple of weeks ago of Jean hand-feeding one of the deer that is part of the group that included the old lady who so sadly died.

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May the old lady have died quickly and without pain.

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Written by Paul Handover

February 3, 2014 at 00:00

6 Responses

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  1. There is a wildlife rehab center about 30 minutes from me, in Maine, and they do outstanding work. I once found a bat on the ground (actually, my English setter found the bat, and I intervened). I brought it to the center, and they determined that it had contracted a disease and was very ill. I was sad that we couldn’t save it, but I appreciate the work these people do.

    Every year, they do a grand release of all their rehabilitated birds. It brings tears to my eyes to watch the birds fly back to the wild.

    I’m sorry about your deer.

    4amWriter

    February 3, 2014 at 04:15

    • Thank you for that background. Our dear neighbours, Dordie and Bill, who know these local deer well, confirmed that this elderly female deer had been showing her age recently, thus strengthening the case that the deer died of natural causes.

      Paul Handover

      February 3, 2014 at 05:42

  2. The BBC screened a documentary about vultures in Africa, recently. Although reviled by many, vultures are one of only a few species that feed entirely on carrion. The programme highlighted the mutually dependent relationship of vultures and hyenas: Hyenas find much of their food by seeing where vultures are circling in he sky; and vultures depend on hyenas to tear through animal flesh (because they cannot – they need to meat to be exposed)… However, by far the most interesting feature in the programme (towards the end) is that it highlights the unintended consequences of humans killing vultures (on purpose and otherwise): As a result of annual migration routes of wilderbeest crossing major rivers on the Serengetti, less vultures means more drowned wilderbeest carcasses are left uneaten and pollute the river. This has led to an increase in human deaths from water-borne diseases… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSEl0oa1WaQ

    Martin Lack

    February 3, 2014 at 07:57

    • Martin, I’m not sure what can be done about it because the plain truth is that there are too many of our species on the planet. But one thing is clear to me. That is that man is far too short-sighted for his own good. As I am oft to say, the power of unintended consequences! I’m preparing a post for later on in the week concerning the proposal in Nevada from their Farm Bureau to round up all the wild horse (mustangs) and slaughter them.
      By the time comes where it’s bleeding’ obvious to one and all that things cannot go on like this, I fear, fear greatly, that it will be too late.

      Paul Handover

      February 3, 2014 at 09:10

      • Why is it that SW of USA (excluding CA) seems to be both the most-adversely affected and the most-reluctant to implement sensible policy?

        Martin Lack

        February 4, 2014 at 05:58

      • Don’t have the answer to that one!

        Paul Handover

        February 4, 2014 at 06:06


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