Saturday, 16 April 2011

Eric the Red

Our master red deer stag, Eric, is getting on a bit now. He is about 15 years old, and probably wouldn't reach much more than this in the wild. Of course, in the wild varied ground and a short life means that the length of hooves would rarely cause a problem, but with the soft ground of the paddock here and the lengthen life span it is possible for a deer's hooves to become over grown.

Therefore, yesterday evening, we trimmed Eric's hooves back. He was beginning to struggle a little bit on his front feet, and along with his old broken leg, it was starting to cause a little lameness. Of course, trimming a red deer's hooves is not a straight forward task. We had to get our zoo vet involved and dart Eric to sedate him enough to be able to work on him.

All went well, and after 40 minutes work he was back on his feet and grazing only yards away. He obviously didn't seem to mind too much about his ordeal and was maybe grateful for his new ease of movement.

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