This is the moment a female deer that lost its leg to a crop mower leaps around its snowy enclosure at an animal shelter that took it in and provided six months of loving care and rehabilitation.
When very young, fawns are often left hiding in tall grass by their mothers while they forage, and many fall prey to mowers, as they tend to sit still instead of running away as they approach, relying on their natural camouflage to hide them.
However, this survival instinct does not protect them from death or serious injury from the machinery.
The Tierparadies Schabenreith animal shelter, located in the municipality of Steinbach am Ziehberg in the district of Kirchdorf an der Krems in Upper Austria, rescued this young fawn in June this year after half of her right hind leg was mutilated by a crop mower.
The now three-legged fawn, which was initially named Angelo, was later given the name Pu-Reh after carers found out it was female.
Officials from the Tierparadies Schabenreith shelter reported that Pu-Reh refused food and water at first, with vets uncertain whether she would survive an amputation operation.
Doris Hofner-Foltin from the animal shelter told Newsflash: “Pu-Reh showed a great will to live and was in a very good shape, so we decided to do the operation and give her a chance.”
The operation was successfully carried out by Dr Kimberger-Doringen, after which Pu-Reh woke up from the anaesthesia without any post-op complications.
After its wound healed, Pu-Reh remained in a secured area at the animal shelter, as her three legs would leave her too disadvantaged in the wild.
Six months later, the Tierparadies Schabenreith said the deer is growing up well and is full of ‘joie de vivre’.
Pu-Reh also has a companion at the shelter, and manager Harald Hofner explained: “We have a white roe buck called Rudolf who has lived with us at Schabenreith for four years and has rediscovered his protective instincts.
“He is always by Pu-Reh’s side, enjoying her company and taking care of her. The pair have become pals for life.
“There could not be a better Christmas present! We have been told several times that raising a deer with three legs is cruel to the animal. That hurts and is completely unjustified, as we can all see now.”
The animal shelter said the disabled fawn should be a reminder for farmers to take extra care when mowing.
In recent years, some farms have started using drones with heat-seeking scanners to make sure fields are clear before starting to cut grass.
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