Deer found in back garden with collar round its neck by animal rescue team

Animal rescuers have had to remove a collar from around the neck of a wild deer.

Officers from the charity Scottish SPCA were called out to Rutherglen after members of the public spotted a deer in the area with the strap buckled round its neck.

The animal was initially sighted by pupils at St Columbkilles Primary School, on the town’s Clincarthill Road, before turning up in the back garden of a property on Johnstone Drive on 25 May.

Officers were able to capture the deer and successfully remove the collar, which could have caused injury or even death if the animal had become snagged and couldn’t get free.

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The operation required expert tactics as deer can suffer severe trauma, and even drop dead, being handled by humans.

“When the first call came in from the primary school we had our doubts as many of the sightings of the deer wearing the collar came from the children,” said Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Christopher Adams, who responded to the call.

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“We thought they might have been mistaken or embellishing the story slightly.

The deer, which was wearing a collar, was first spotted by local primary school pupils and later in a private garden in Rutherglen

“However, when the second call came in from another member of the public we realised that the deer did indeed appear to have a collar around its neck.

“I was able to attend and, with the help of my fellow animal rescue officer Rebecca Carr, we were able to successfully catch the deer and quickly remove the collar.

“Handling deer is very stressful for the animal and can even cause them to pass away, so we were glad we were able to help the animal as quickly and safely as possible.”

The incident is not the first case of its kind in recent months, according to the charity.

A fox wearing a collar was found dead in Blantyre at the end of last year, thought to have died from an injury caused by the item.

The latest call-out has sparked new warnings for people not to interfere with wild animals but to admire them from a distance.

Mr Adams added: “Although it can’t be proven, it seems as if someone has possibly put this round the deer’s neck.

“This deer has been very lucky that members of the public spotted the collar and we were able to remove it.

“If the collar had been left on it possibly could have become too tight or caught on something and caused an injury or even death.”

The latest reminder comes in the wake of similar caution last week, when members of the public were asked to leave fawns alone unless they were in distress or immediate danger.

Baby deer and other wildlife are often left alone by their parents for periods of time, which can result in people mistakenly believing they have been abandoned.

Three out of the four fawns taken in by the charity between 18 and 23 May were removed from their natural environment unnecessarily.

The strain of being removed from their mothers proved too great for two of these, which developed severe stress and had to be destroyed.

Officers are also appealing for information in a bid to discover how the deer came to be wearing the collar, urging anyone who knows anything that could further investigations to phone the Scottish SPCA helpline on 03000 999 999.

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