Norfolk

Dead doe's fawn saved by roadside Caesarean in Cromer

Muntjac fawn Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption The muntjac fawn is on medication to bring it back to full strength

A premature muntjac fawn has survived after being removed from its dead mother's womb on a Norfolk roadside.

The adult doe was lying dead on the road near Cromer early on Wednesday.

A passing animal welfare investigator stopped his car, but then saw the doe's stomach moving so quickly went back to his vehicle to grab a knife.

"I've seen it done on sheep, so I knew what to do without having done a Caesarean before," said the man, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"There's a sense of self achievement - I was buzzing.

"But we're keeping our fingers crossed because it's so young," he said.

Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption The fawn was spotted moving in the womb of its mother

The fawn was taken into care at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, with its founder Wendy Valentine saying "it's a miracle it's got this far".

However, she added the female baby deer was "far from out of the woods" with it being about a month premature.

The investigator first told the Eastern Daily Press he saw the dead doe in the early hours of Wednesday, which he said must have only recently been run over.

"I went over there and could see it was heavily pregnant - it was really moving in the stomach area," he told the BBC.

Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption Once a Caesarean was carried out the fawn was dried off with a hairdryer

"I managed to remove the fawn which was inside still intact. I got hold of its back legs and held it upside down to clear its airways."

He then wrapped it in a coat and took it to Ms Valentine's house, where it was given medication and dried with towels and a hairdryer.

"I'm more than surprised it's survived - it didn't look very good when it came in," said Ms Valentine.

The fawn is currently living at the house of its rescuer, but he admits it is still "50-50" as to whether it will make a full recovery.

Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption The fawn is currently living at the home of the man who saved its life

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