Salem, Ore.— Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists and a department veterinarian released the black-tailed buck that was illegally held by a Molalla family into the wild today.
According to attending veterinarian, the buck paused for a few moments to browse, and then walked off through the brush into the forest.
“It did exactly what it should have,” said Dr. Peregrine Wolff, ODFW veterinarian.
Prior to the buck’s release, state wildlife veterinarians performed a vasectomy to keep him from passing on genes with his mother’s genetic deformities.
The buck was released into the Bull Run Watershed which drains about 102 square miles of forested landscape and is home to almost 250 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The area requires special permits to enter, has a resident deer population, and is off-limits to hunters.
Dr. Wolff described the release site as ideal. “It’s very lush, with a lot to eat there,” she said. “It has good thermal cover and there are other deer tracks in the area.”
“We believe this is the best outcome for the deer,” said Ron Anglin, wildlife division administrator. “We believe he can survive in the wild, and have given him the opportunity to do so.”
Because of the doe’s deformities, she will not be returned to the wild. She suffers from congenital and degenerative conditions, making her permanently disabled.
“It is important that we have a very clear picture of the health condition of the doe so that an informed decision can be made that is her best interest,” Wolff said.
Currently, the doe is being given anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate pain associated with her deformities. The veterinarians have seen an improvement in the doe’s mobility and believe it will continue to improve when her hooves are trimmed. Veterinarians will trim the hooves in conjunction with taking x-rays of the doe’s joints.
State wildlife biologists remind Oregonians that, if you care about young wildlife, leave them in the wild. Every year, well-intentioned Oregonians “rescue” young animals and birds they believe have been abandoned, greatly reducing the animal's chance of survival. If you believe an animal or bird is in danger or seriously hurt, call a local ODFW office or the Oregon State Police.