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HomeNewsAspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary helps get deer back on its feet

Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary helps get deer back on its feet

It wasn’t easy, but Jan Kingshott, director of animal welfare at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, says they were able to remove an arrow from the leg of an injured deer.

She explains that a property owner frequently has deers visit and one day noticed one that was badly limping. Upon further inspection, Kingshott says they noticed the deer had an arrow stuck in its leg and called the sanctuary. 

“This wasn’t an easy rehab or capture,” she says.

While in many cases, injured animals are taken back to the sanctuary in Rosseau, Kingshott says they couldn’t do that for this deer. “Adult deer don’t do well in rehabilitation so we were looking for an opportunity to do this all in the field,” she explains. The problem, she continues, is that the deer may hurt itself even more when trying to get away. 

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“We have had to do this a few times over years,” says Kingshott. It’s hard to help deer in a situation like this because they can’t bring them into the sanctuary. She points out that a lot of timelines need to match up for this to be possible. “It doesn’t often work out that way,” she says. 

A doctor was brought in and they coordinated when they could meet in the area where the deer was. “We had to abort the first mission,” says Kingshott. She explains they needed to sedate the deer with a dart and they missed their first shot. The deer ran off and they were forced to find a new time to return. The second trip was successful, Kingshott says, and they were able to get the deer down. 

The arrow was embedded deep into the deer’s right front leg, according to Kingshott. 

The solution? Kingshott says they punched a hole in the deer’s leg and pulled the arrow through. The three-hour procedure ended with the deer’s leg being stitched up and it being given a cocktail of drugs and set free. 

“He has been seen since,” says Kingshott. It’s been noted that the deer still looks to be tender on that leg, however, it seems to be putting more pressure on it than before. “Not using that leg, the leg contracted a little bit so it will take a while for him to gain full mobility of that leg,” says Kingshott, adding the arrow was likely in the deer’s leg for close to a month.

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