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VIDEO: 9 young deer fresh from rehab trot off into Island wilderness

BC SPCA Wild ARC cared for 13 sick, injured or orphaned fawns this summer

A handful of young deer traipse from the back of a truck and tuck in on an undisclosed Vancouver Island trail as part of the latest release from a Greater Victoria animal rehab centre.

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) in Metchosin happily shared the video on social media of the nine young ungulates released the final week of summer.

Over the summer, Wild ARC staff and practicum students cared for 13 deer fawns who were sick, injured or orphaned.

The deer enclosures at Wild ARC are the largest, meaning they’re among the most expensive and labour-intensive spaces to maintain.

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Wherever possible, staff and volunteers keep animals of the same species together. Aside from the health and safety benefits, it also means they learn to associate with their own species as well as imprint correctly. The goal is to release recovered animals back into the wild, so rehabilitators work to ensure animals have the natural behaviours and skills needed.

Wild ARC uses a number of different strategies to help prevent imprinting. For example, even with a young fawn that would still be drinking its mother’s milk, staff maintain a hands-off approach using tools such as a bottle feeding rack.

This year, Wild ARC also made significant, necessary and costly upgrades to protect the vulnerable fawns from the lethal adenovirus hemorrhagic disease that causes deer to bleed internally.

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