Robben Island: FOUR PAWS rescues 19 fallow deers
The first group of 20 Fallow Deer left Robben Island for a new home in the Free State today. The deer, 17 fawns, ewes and three rams, will be resettled on LIONSROCK Sanctuary. They were initially doomed to be culled, but the animal welfare organization, FOUR PAWS, came to their rescue and offered them freedom in the Free State.
The operation started at sunrise. The 25-member FOUR PAWS team began to dart and capture the deer. They were then checked, treated and loaded onto the transport trailer after having the reversal antidote administered.
Vets on site decided against sterilizing the rams because they did not want to run the risk of the animals getting an infection. Each animal was assessed for its health as well as it estimated age. The females were also checked for pregnancies.
The deer were loaded on to the North Star, a vessel owned by Smit Amandla Marine, before starting an hour-long journey to Cape Town Harbour, where they were off-loaded at Quay 500.
The animals were accompanied on the North Star by staff from FOUR PAWS, Robben Island Museum, and a contingent of media and press. A veterinary team was also on board, with vets monitoring the animals throughout their first sea journey.
The batch of 20 fallow deer will be transported by road to the Free State. They are expected to arrive at LIONSROCK by tomorrow afternoon.
FOUR PAWS staff will continue the capture and relocation process for the remaining 50 fallow deer over the next two weeks.