Monday, December 16, 2013

Deer Abby ~ A Guest Post by My Friend Rachael, Featuring Abby The Mule Deer

I got a new animal charge on 11/14:  “Deer Abby” (pictured above).  She is imprinted and was, therefore, deemed non-releasable by a rehabilitation facility.  She is super sweet and is already making a great educational animal at the park.  She was found on a hiking trail in the Bakersfield area when she was about a month old.  The people thought she was abandoned by her mother, so they took her home and made a pet out of her.  PLEASE DO NOT EVER TAKE AN ANIMAL OUT OF THE WILD TO MAKE IT A PET!!  It is illegal to do that, and it sentences the animal to a life in captivity.  First of all, she was -- most likely -- not abandoned.  Fawns sit in one spot for long periods of time, while mom forages and then comes back to collect them.  IF an animal is truly abandoned (for instance, you see mom dead next to it) or the animal is injured, PLEASE take it immediately to a rehabilitation facility.  Those folks are experts on healing the animal and doing it in such a way as to not imprint the animal.  So, it can then be re-released into the wild after it is healed, old enough to be on its own, etc.  As I said, Abby is imprinted and looks to people for everything, so she would now perish in the wild if she were left on her own.  She provides us with a wonderful opportunity to educate people about wild animals and proper protocol when ‘helping’ them.  I’m sure, though, if given the choice, she would have preferred being left in the wild over captivity -- even if it meant a shorter life.  Just food for thought...


Rachael works as an Animal Keeper at William S. Hart Park, a Los Angeles County park and museum in Newhall, California. Recently, the local paper published an article about Deer Abby, who has adjusted beautifully and has become a huge hit with visitors to the park. When I wrote about her earlier, some of you asked if Abby could ever be released back into the wild. Rachael's post answers those questions. Please check out this link to read the article and see another picture of this sweet little deer: 


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