29th March 2013
What a Wonderful World!
Holding fast to the Easter tradition of rebirth, a second chance was given to a tiny deer over the weekend as Edgar’s Mission welcomed Darin. Trying to piece together the 24 hours prior to Darin Deer’s arrival is like attempting to complete a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces, but what we do know is that through human intervention, Darin is no longer in the company of his mummy. A tiny baby Sambar deer, otherwise known as a calf, Darin still has his shrivelled umbilical cord, which indicates just how incredibly young this little man is. This, coupled with the fact that he was able to be caught in the wild, show him to be around 4 days young. As baby deer are very unstable on their feet and unable to keep up with their more agile mothers, the scentless young will often be safely ‘hidden’ from predators. A mother deer will return to her calf after having quenched her own thirst and satisfied her hunger, which also provides her sufficient time and energy to replenish her milk. Very rarely will a mother deer abandon her young. Sadly upon finding a lone baby deer, many well intentioned humans, fearing the worst, will remove the calf. Darin came to us via wildlife carers who had the youngster surrendered to them.
At first particularly frightened and agitated, Darin would not settle. This told us it was going to take around the clock care to ensure we could pull this little guy through. Deer are a particularly easily stressed animal and most problematic to raise as orphans. Without a suckling reflex, Darin was unable to drink from a bottle and his point blank refusal to lap milk meant that a syringe became his life source. But it is not only at feeding time that a baby deer relies solely on his mother. And so, the Lady in the Hat’s hands took on the delicate and vital role his loving mother would have done in tending to Darin’s toilet needs, much like the care a mother cat would provide to her kittens. But the similarity with felines does not end here; as Darin’s precious little cries lose nothing in comparison to the meows of a tiny kitten calling its mother.
Darin is sweet and vulnerable and has quickly learned that the straw fortress hastily fashioned for him is his safe haven. Sharing his stable with Buffy the bovine calf, Darin’s intrepid circumnavigating of his new world always ends with a swift retreat back to the sanctity of his fortress. And curled up here on his blanket he remains in the company of his teddy bear- ever hopeful that one day his mummy will return. Darin’s feeding times are proving equally rewarding for Darin and the Lady in the Hat. While the milk swirls down and warms the young deer’s tummy, his sweet face and nibbling lips melt the Lady in the Hat’s heart; his pure, unadulterated trust and innocence causing her to sing, ‘What a wonderful world!’ Let’s work to keep it that way.