It has been announced that an animal listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has been hand-raised by keepers at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Hythe.
The eight-week-old Sambar fawn was discovered unattended by its mother in December and has since been given 24/7 care by Hoofstock Keepers.
After being born on December 3 last year, the team at the breeding sanctuary decided to intervene and started giving the tiny fawn round the clock support, to ensure its survival.
“She didn’t have the best start in life”
Simon Jeffery is the Animal Director at Port Lympne and was very pleased with the young deer’s development.
He said: “We’re delighted with this lovely little fawn’s progress. Even though she didn’t have the best start in life, she’s responded well to us and now loves nothing more than charging around and playing – she’s full of beans and quite a handful!”
He continued: “Although she’s still fairly small, she absolutely loves her food! She’s still on milk for most feeds, but has started becoming more interested in solids, so it won’t be long before she’s able to really boss us around.”
With threats from poaching and habitat destruction, the population of sambar deer has declined rapidly in its native South Asia.
It is predicted that they will be extinct from the region in as little as ten years, if they are not given more protection from trade-inspired hunting.
Visitors can see the fawn, who currently weighs just over two stone, whilst experiencing the Reserve’s Asian Experience, as well as a range of other exotic, safari animals.
Sambar deer are the most widespread deer in Asia. They can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and throughout southern China, as well as on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Borneo and the mainland of Thailand and Cambodia.
Port Lympne in Hythe is part of the Aspinall Foundation and home to over 700 animals ranging across 90 different species.