A NEWBORN deer found alone in woodland by a dog walker is being cared for at an Aberdeenshire animal sanctuary.
The fawn, now two weeks old and called Clover, was taken to the North East Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre (New Arc) after the discovery near Potterton.
The spaniel had emerged from the woods and carried the young roe deer, still with its umbilical cord attached, to its owner. The woman had been walking her dogs and was about to go home.
Keith Marley, who runs the New Arc near Ellon with Pauline Martin, takes up the story: “She thought at first the dog had a rabbit and she was absolutely horrified to discover it was a roe deer.
“Fortunately for the deer, the dog was an older one with hardly any teeth, so it was ok. The woman checked it over and decided the best thing to do was to put it in a secluded spot and leave it for the mum to find.
“A few hours later she checked and found the mother had not returned so she called us for advice.”
Mr Marley said their experience was that even if the mother had found the fawn it would have been put off by the scent of the dog and its owner.
He added: “It was very underweight, very thin and was probably born that day. The poor thing’s first experience in life was to get picked up by a spaniel and carried away.
“Hopefully we are past the worrying period with her now and she will be with us until the early part of next year. Once she’s ready, we’ll look for a suitable location to release her.”
The owners have run the centre since 2006 and have looked after around 5,000 animals. They currently have 370 at the sanctuary.