Last night we received a telephone call from a local farmer that had found a very young infant Southern red muntjac deer (Muntiacus muntjak) in his pineapple field, with its mother nowhere to be seen. The WFFT Wildlife Rescue Team headed out straight away to collect this little deer. We are unsure as to why she was found alone, she may have been abandoned, her mother may have been killed by a predator or hunters. She was brought straight back to the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre where she spent the night being cared for by a member of the vet team.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the Southern red muntjac as Least Concern (LC) because it remains common throughout most of its range, is resilient to hunting and increases in numbers with logging and presumably other forms of forest disruption, and survives even almost complete conversion of forest to at least some crop plantations. The coming years will see further fragmentation and if hunting continues at current high levels, wider declines and a higher frequency of local extinction than has so far occurred.
We suspect this little fawn is no more than a week old, we have named her ‘Martha’. Little Martha seems to be eating well for now but as with any young animal that has lost its mother at such a young age thing could go either way. She is currently receiving round the clock care from the WFFT Vet Team. We hope she will gain strength and be able to join the other muntjac deer here at WFFT, in a large open protected forested area in the future. We will keep you updated on her progress.