Rosie the red deer nursed back to health after savage dog attack
Hiding in long grass on England's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Westcountry provided little refuge for this beleaguered red deer calf.
Three-month-old Rosie was savaged by an out-of-control dog on the Quantock Hills in Somerset last week before members of the public were able to separate the animals.
She was left with a badly mauled neck and temporarily without sight in one eye due to intense shock from the incident. Now the wounded calf is being cared for at Secret World Wildlife Centre in Highbridge, near Burnham-on-Sea, after receiving treatment at a nearby veterinary clinic.
David Charles, who is caring for the red deer calf that he named Rosie, said: "She is recovering slowly and we are managing to feed her milk and normal foliage, she needs to be treated carefully because she is semi blind and still very nervous."
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When Rosie arrived at the centre a week ago she was struggling to keep her neck upright and had been given antibiotics as well as pain relief drugs.
Centre founder Pauline Kidner said: "Now she is more comfortable and is enjoying going outside in the paddock with six other deer."
Rosie will spend another month at the centre and will need a period of time away from human contact in readiness to be released back into the countryside.
Mrs Kidner said: "Attacks like these are horrible. We get quite a lot of dog attacks and the ones on adult deer are often horrendous because the dogs cling onto their necks.
"You can't blame the dogs, but the owners shouldn't let their dogs run around in fields with long grass where animals like deer naturally rest."
The attack comes after a pet owner was left "heartbroken" after watching her Yorkshire terrier brutally killed by a staffie-type dog in an Exeter play park.
Diana Walton was taking her daily walk with nine-year-old Folly, in Belmont Pleasure Ground, when the other dog appeared and grabbed Folly by the neck.
Ms Walton said: "It was horrendous. This dog came like a bolt out of the blue – Folly didn't even know it was there as she was playing with another dog she knows.
"The dog grabbed Folly and just shook her and ripped her throat out. She was covered in blood."
She needed medical assistance from ambulance crews after witnessing the attack.
The dog was brought under control and police confirmed they are now investigating the attack with the possibility of a control order being issued to the owner.
Ms Walton added: "She was a happy little dog and was never still. I didn't need an alarm clock with her. I don't think I can live without her. I don't know what to do, she was all I had."