Good news for injured deer
By Darren Lum
Published Jan. 25, 2018
The sky wasn't the only thing beaming Wednesday after wildlife advocates were successful in tranquilizing the deer that has been seen around Haliburton since just after Christmas with an arrow protruding from its head. It was transported safely by truck to a sanctuary in Rosseau.
Haliburton resident Dave Allen couldn't stop smiling after Howard Smith, managing director of the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, shot the deer with the dart, sedating the animal that had been a no-show at an earlier tranquilization attempt just a week before.
It was a long awaited outcome for Allen, whose residence became the tranquilization venue. He first saw the deer on New Year’s Day in the yard outside his home.
“I'm telling you ... I can't thank these people enough. It's a good day. You know these organizations like the Woodlands Wildlife [Sanctuary] and Aspen Valley they can't survive without donations. They do such a wonderful thing,” he said.
Dr. Sherri Cox, founder of the National Wildlife Centre, was in Haliburton for the first attempt to capture the deer a week earlier. This Sunday she is expected to perform the surgery at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to remove the arrowhead from the deer. The shaft of the arrow was cut off after the deer was tranquilized and will be given to staff at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
For the past two weeks, Monika Melichar of the Minden Hills-based Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary has led the effort to save the deer. She’s been communicating with Allen, Smith and Cox, and enlisting volunteers to help. When the deer was being secured for transport, she gave Allen a hug.
“We're excited. This is great. This is really good,” she said.
“It takes a lot of team effort and it takes a lot of co-ordination and it's great to be able to come out and help the deer and actually be successful in getting it,” she said, smiling and laughing. “They're very elusive sometimes.”
Based on how the deer looked, Melichar is optimistic about the deer's chance of survival.
“The good thing about it is it's young. It's healthy. It's survived this long so [those are] all really good signs. The infection is going to be cured with antibiotics and it looks like there was no damage to – we don't know about the eye yet – obviously there is no damage to the brain or anything [else]. It was acting normally so the prognosis is good. It's not great, but it's good,” she said.