Posted by: Wild Instincts | September 6, 2011

Wild Once More

Over the weekend, Wild Instincts released the eight fawns we’ve been
caring for since May. We thought you may like an inside look at how this is

Because we have to transport our deer to a proper release site, we need
to tranquilize them so they don’t get hurt and we don’t get hurt.

Early on we plan for the day we will have to tranquilize them. We
bottle feed them once a day long after they need it. The easiest way to
tranquilize them is to hand stick them with a pressurized syringe containing
the drug while they are sucking on a bottle. No stress. No fuss.

Those fawns who are no longer taking bottles are slightly more
challenging. They require the blow-gun to deliver the pressurized syringes.

After the deer are injected with the drug, we watch them quietly from a
distance and wait for a few minutes to let the drug take effect. Then we carry
them out of the deer yard and into the building for the next step.

Mark and Volunteer Ken carry a sedated deer out of the deer yard.

In the next step, we are required to place small ear tags in
their ears. We work quickly all the while monitoring vitals and taking steps to
make sure everything is done to reduce any risk associated with anesthesia.

An ear tag in a soon-to-be-released deer

Then we load the sedated animals for transport, again monitoring the animals and taking all precautions to reduce any risks to them.

Sedated deer being transported to their new wild home.

We arrive at the release site. We may have to wait a few minutes depending on how our timing is. We can’t give the reversal drug until a certain amount of time has passed.

Administering the reversal drug to wake up the deer in its new wild home.

We give the reversal and let the deer wake up. We monitor them until they are no longer showing signs they are under the effect of the drug. While their bodies metabolize the drugs they can be wobbly and look even drunk.

It doesn’t take long, however, before they are walking normally,  browsing and “taste-testing” their new surroundings.

Where Am I?

Newly-reversed, groggy deer metabolizes the drugs while taking in his new surroundings.

Fawns admissions generally start in mid-late May. They aren’t released until September.

The formula they drink is specially made and costly. When eating solids, they get a couple different special feeds along with lots and lots of produce-the same produce you buy at the store or the farmer’s market. Unless we get it donated, we are in line beside you at the store buying produce to feed our “wild family”. And, yes, these days our family budget is strained as much as yours.

For EACH fawn, it costs about $1000 just in formula, feeds and produce to raise them to release. That’s not including medical care or overhead like electricity or housing.

We think you’ll agree, however, this:

A few week old fawn being bottle fed.

Becoming this:

A fawn hit by a car a few months earlier is now Wild Once More.









Thank you to all who made this possible.

Wild Instincts is a non-profit organization operating solely on donations and memberships from people like you. We receive no funding from the government. Your donations help animals like these return to the wild.

For more information on how you can help us help them visit Wild Instincts.






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