Haliburton’s injured deer on road to recovery
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | February 1, 2018
After roaming around Haliburton for several weeks with an arrow in its head, a young female deer was successfully darted on Jan. 24. It underwent surgery three days later to remove the arrow and is on the road to recovery.
“The prognosis is good but still unclear,” said Monika Melichar of the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS). Howard Smith, director of the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (AVWS), sedated the deer and clipped the arrow at resident Dave Allen’s house. It was then transported to the AVWS, where Dr. Sherri Cox of the National Wildlife Centre performed the two-hour surgery last Saturday. After first removing the arrow tip, Cox discovered one of its three sharp razor blades had broken off. It had to be removed separately.
The arrow entered “just above the eye orbit and came out just above the jaw bone,” explained Melichar. The fawn’s eye was “sunken,” but it didn’t have to be removed.
“It was difficult to tell if it suffered any damage,” she said. “We will not know if the eye will be functional yet.” Its brow bone sustained a fracture, leaving a permanent lump on its head. In addition, its mouth wouldn’t open because its jaw bones were “almost seized.”
“We think that due to the razor-sharp blades being so close to her jaw, and most likely cutting her every time she chewed, it was too painful to move her mouth while eating so she adapted to just swallowing,” said Melichar.
Last week’s successful darting was the second attempt. A week earlier, Cox, along with WWS volunteers, patiently waited for it to show at Allen’s feeder, but it didn’t come.
It’s hoped it will make a full recovery and can be released in Haliburton by the spring.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.