The Tiny Deer Named Rupert –Truth!


Summary of eRumor:

An email with the story and photos of a tiny deer named Rupert who was delivered by Caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car.  The premature deer is being kept alive by incubators, expert care and is doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

The Truth:

This is a touching story of efforts to save the life of a newborn deer, but sadly, he didn’t make it, according to the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.  Tiggywinkles is a veterinary hospital that specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of all species of wildlife in England.

The Tiggywinkles web site said a pregnant female Muntjac deer was admitted into to the wildlife hospital on September 20, 2008 after she was hit by a car approximately three miles away in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire in the South East of England.

After being treated for severe injuries and “despite expert care, her injuries were too severe and she would not recover from them, and so the vet decided the kindest thing would be to put her to sleep.   As her pregnancy was so far advanced, the decision was taken to give her unborn fawn a chance.”  Five days later the Rupert was delivered by Caesarean section.

The baby fawn was determined to be about 2 to 3 weeks premature so he was placed in an incubator to be kept warm and provided fresh oxygen to aid in development.   All efforts were made to feed him after he refused to suckle from a foster doe and sadly the little fawn condition deteriorated and he did not pull through.

Click here for the Rupert story at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital

updated 10/21/08


A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Another one to show to your children.

This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car. Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult’s hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.

At just six inches tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire. He has only recently opened his eyes. Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said: ‘Rupert’s mother had very severe injuries.  We brought him out and got him breathing and then he went into an incubator on oxygen.    He is now being fed by a tube.’


Tucked up: Rupert in an incubator

Rupert pulls a striking pose for the camera Staff are optimistic Rupert, now five days old, will make a full recovery.
‘Deer are very, very tricky but this one has spirit. He’s an extremely feisty little guy and quite pushy,’ Mr Stocker said.

Asleep: Rupert takes 40 winks