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Baby deer nursed to health on goat's milk

Staff at the Tri Lake Animal Hospital in Lake Country, B.C., are nursing an orphaned fawn with goat's milk after it was found in an orchard just hours after its birth.

Vets at the Kelowna-area clinic say the orphaned fawn was still wet when found

Staff at the Tri Lake Animal Hospital in Lake Country, B.C., are nursing an orphaned fawn with goat's milk, after it was found in an orchard just hours after its birth.

Veterinarian Linda Kaplan says the young fawn was huddling next to its dead mother when a client found it near Oyama on Tuesday.

Kaplan isn't sure if the fawn's mother died during the birth or was hit by a car, but she says the baby deer was still wet when it was brought into the clinic.

"We have mostly female staff here, and I would say everyone's maternal instincts came out instantly and everyone kicked into gear as a team," said Kaplan.

Jane is about the size of a large rabbit. (Tri Lake Animal Hospital/Facebook)

It was clear the young deer hadn't nursed and staff rushed to find suitable milk to feed the young animal.

"We found some goat colostrum [first milk] from a couple of our clients. It starts the immune system working right away. And goat milk is a good supplement, so we've actually tracked down quite a bit of goat milk."

Already the two-day-old fawn, which is only the size of a large rabbit, is standing and nuzzling staff when hungry, but Kaplan says that is no guarantee it will survive.    

"I am never going to say for sure that it is going to survive, but it has grown a little bit. It's still eating. And we are just crossing our fingers and toes that it is going to do well. It's actually getting stronger."

Kaplan says they have never had such a young fawn at the clinic and staff have named the young doe Jane.    

"It's had a lot of attention. I'm getting a bit worried about the amount of attention it's getting."

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service will eventually have to decide what to do with the deer if it survives, but in the meantime staff are working hard to help it thrive.

"It's probably better all around that this baby has come into the hospital," says Kaplan.

Google Maps: Tri Lake Animal Hospital

With files from Brady Strachan

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