NEWCOMERS (Nov/Dec 2007)
They are ruminants and thus pure vegetarians. They eat grass and leaves.
At the end of 2007, a preserve owner in the Palatinate Forest (in Rhineland, Germany) decided that for health reasons he could no longer maintain his preserve. Therefore, the whole herd, about 50 animals was to be shot.
He called in several local hunters to carry out this bloody work for him. So they started, primarily on weekends and they shot about 4-5 deer each day.
And apparently this was a normal thing for the neighbors of the preserve; they’d gotten used to over the years. But then came the straw that broke the camel’s back. Children were playing by the fence; they were feeding the animals, giving the little ones grass and carrots, and 10 meters away a hunter started shooting again.
He simply shot into the herd while the children were feeding other animals by the fence. The children were apparently scared to death and then the hunter shot at a young animal, a fawn about 6 months old. He just wounded it and it ran whimpering and crying through the preserve. The children had to watch this. What did the hunter do then? He opened the gate, went in, took a knife and, right there before the eyes of the children, cut the fawn’s throat – to deliver it from its misery, as he said.
This moved the children’s parents to call the police. Due to public pressure (reports in the local press) the owner of the preserve agreed to allow animal protectors, who had also been called in, to rescue the animals.
The Rescue Action
Neighbors and animal protectors called this to the attention of animal friends from “Home for Animals.” An intensive rescue campaign started immediately and took several weeks. Countless telephone calls were made in order to find other preserves or animal friends who would take in the animals.
We from „Home for Animals“ drove four hours each way a total of three
times. We were a eight animal friends altogether who spent a total of five
days at the location.
The catching of the animals and the transport had to be planned in detail. For they were still wild animals, even though they lived in a preserve of 3.2 hectares. They were very shy. In the end, we had to build a preserve within the preserve and with endless patience, always in firm belief in the success of this rescue campaign, catch the animals and prepare them for transport.
For the transport, the older animals were anaesthetized and then driven in a transporter filled with lots of straw. Here we can see the first pictures of the rescue action.
There were always 4-5 animals moved together. Here we see an older animal and a little fawn. It’s just a few months old.
All 21 animals arrived safely and in good condition and now rejoice over
their life on a meadow at “Home for Animals,” where they don’t have to fear
hunters and can live until the end of their natural lives.
I think the whole thing couldn’t be anymore cruel or perverse. The more people support the thoughts of keeping peace with nature, people and animals, the more animals will be able to live in freedom in conditions appropriate for their species.
More than half the animals are fawns aged 6 months to a year. They are shy and stay together mostly as a group. It will take some time until these beautiful animals again gain trust toward human beings. On the meadow is a shelter with dry straw, fresh water and a feeding rack with hay.
Pastureland, if possible with some woods, of about 2 hectares must still be bought and a shelter expanded.
Pictures: © by Home for Animals