Oh deer! Tiggywinkles team see record number of deer

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A whopping 14 deers in four days have arrived at Tiggywinkles after a cold snap confused the creatures.

Dark nights, and the recent cold weather are believed to be to blame for the record number of injured deer.

Some had been struck by cars, while a baby muntjac had come into contact with a dog.

All have survived thanks to specialist care at the Haddenham centre.

But Tiggys boss Les Stocker is appealing for volunteers, to help collect more injured animals and bring them in.

He said: “It seemed to happen all of a sudden and all of the staff have been saying ‘what’s going on?!’

“We’ve even had a baby muntjac. Muntjacs have got it all wrong because they are from the southern hemisphere and they breed in winter. What normally happens is the mother leaves them to go and find food and then a dog will come along and find them and pick them up by the head, they often come in with a head injury.

“Locally we see Chinese water deer too, they are coming in from all over the area, and we have had roe deer too.”

He added: “Deer are very specialised, they are big for a start and they are very powerful, they also panic.

“We have had really big ones, that weight around 90 kilos and you have to be really careful because they are so big and strong, they could kick you and seriously injure you.

“Here at Tiggywinkles we know how to handle them and I built a trolley for the smaller muntjacs.

“We are used to them but no one else can keep them because they are so powerful and nervous.

“All of the deers will be kept away from the main hospital in our special stable area until they are well enough to be released.”

And Mr Stocker thinks that the upsurge in deer casualties could be due to the mild months leading up to the recent cold snap.

He said: “It is a mystery, but normally we see an increase when the clocks change, all of a sudden there are darker nights and there will be crashes.

“It has turned cold recently, and the deer could be finding it harder to look for food, but in general the cold shouldn’t affect them. What we really need is a scientist to do some research and find out more.”

Mr Stocker also issued a plea for anyone who can offer to transport the injured animals by becoming a volunteer rescuer, and advice for anyone who hits a deer in their car.

He said: “If people hit a deer sometimes they think they have broken the law, but they haven’t, it is completely an accident.

“Don’t try to handle it, but give us a call and we will get a rescue team out there, but please stay with the deer.

“We also really need volunteer rescuers, so please get in touch if you can help. This week we had a call out to Bicester to a roe deer, and the same volunteer had to go straight back out again, back to Bicester to another injured deer.”

If you would like to become a volunteer rescuer call 01844 292292.