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'Jane Doe' finds new home

UPDATE 5:00 P.M. FRIDAY: 

Lake Country's famous little doe is on her way to a full recovery and has even found a home.

Tri Lake Animal Hospital's Cara Reed says the Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley will be little Jane Doe's new home.

“Jane will be traveling there tomorrow to meet three new 'sisters'!” says Reed. “She is super curious and has been investigating her surroundings more today.”

Dr. Linda Kaplan says her medical condition has healed on its own.

“She is doing very well, her patent urachus has closed with just a little TLC and some medication. She is active, alert, nursing well and gaining more weight each night.”

Check out photos of Jane Doe in the grass for the first time above and a video of her munching away below.


ORIGINAL STORY: 

It's a dear little deer, but it needed some TLC after losing its mother hours after being born, luckily this little Bambi she was brought to the right place.

Louvain Schon with the Okanagan Humane Society found the fawn on her property in Oyama, its mother was found deceased nearby.

She rushed the small creature to the Tri Lake Animal Hospital, where they provide charitable support and medical services to the humane society.

Veterinarian and Co-owner Dr. Linda Kaplan says little 'Jane Doe' was brought to them still wet, umbilical cord attached and in need of immediate sustenance.

“She found the body of an adult female deer, we don't know exactly what happened, we speculate it could have been anything from being hit by a car to dying giving birth to this little baby, and very nearby she found this very tiny little baby deer,” explained Kaplan. “It was wet and the umbilicus was still moist, we believe it was born shortly before being found.”

Kaplan's team was able to rely on two of their clients, Kathy Wheeler and Colleen Ivans, who provided goat colostrum and goat's milk that is keeping the spotted leggy baby going, and to help her gain weight. “I would like to thank our clients, they jumped into action,” added Kaplan.

She says little Jane is a celebrity and her staff are over-the-moon to help her recover.

“You have a clinic of female workers who are all totally in love with this baby and who were all really fighting the urge to pick her up and treat her like a human baby,” she laughs.

Once Jane was settled, a full physical exam was done and Kaplan says they did find an issue, but they are cautiously optimistic about her long term prognosis.

She says that Jane has 'patent urachus,' which is a defect that causes urine to leak from the umbilical cord after birth when it is supposed to close and reroute to the urethra, but she says the little deer is showing signs of improvement.

“As the day progresses it is getting drier and drier though and she is getting more urine out her uretha. I would know because I picked her up a short while ago and got peed on, so I know things are working better,” laughs Kaplan.

The little deer is on medicine to make sure she doesn't develop an infection and she is being watched very closely.

Now the crew at Tri Lake Animal Hospital is on the hunt for an accredited rehabilitation facility for her.

“They'll raise her and hopefully get her less and less acclimatized to people and more able to cope in a wild setting, with the hope she can be released.”

Kaplan says every spring her and other local veterinarians are brought a little parade of baby birds and baby animals. They will always do their best with these little creatures, pro bono.

But she urges that this was a special case with her mother found dead nearby, and it is not usually advised to take a baby animal from the wild.

The BC Conservation office provided the following tips if you do find a young deer alone.

  • Deer leave their young for long periods of time (up to 10-12 hours) while they are off eating. The young are built to hide from predators, and in the case of deer fawns, don't develop scent until they are several weeks old.

  • If you come across a deer fawn on its own, LEAVE IT ALONE, DO NOT TOUCH IT.  Deer are very sensitive to the smell of a predator and will abandon their fawn if it smells like a human.  

  • DO NOT PICK UP THE FAWN.  Fawns will play dead when handled.  Their breathing becomes very shallow, they go limp and appear dead.  This is their natural reaction to being handled by a predator.

  • If you notice a fawn, stay far away from it, but you can keep an eye on it.  Mother deer can see, smell and  hear you, and will not return to their fawn if they sense your presence.

  • If no mother returns after observing the fawn for 8 hours, call the BC Conservation hotline 1-877-952-7277

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