Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Follow Up on Salisbury Zoo Deer – Part 3 of 3

By Terry E. Cohen, Council Member

If you would like to learn more about the condition of the Salisbury Zoo deer with the deformed antler mass on its head, you can check into some of the links I did last year and recently. I originally searched on something like “deformed antlers.” I can’t locate the original taxidermy site of mounted heads of deer, but the photos were similar to those found when you scroll down on this site:
Taxidermy Forum

That was where I first learned of the term “perruque.”

I also discovered “The Deer Vet,” Dr. English, in Australia. I read the questions and answers on this link:
Vet FAQs

His email was there, so I took a chance of sending in my own question, and to my pleasant surprise, Dr. English was kind enough to respond within one or two hours. He was essentially saying the condition could be treated surgically if the proper precautions were taken. This was a year ago, as detailed in Parts 1 and 2 below.

After Joe Albero contacted the council, mayor and administration with his deep concern about the expansion of the growths on the deer’s head as documented by a visitor to the zoo this past weekend, I told him of my inquiries last year and shared information about the Deer Vet and this link, which predicts a bad end for a deer with a perruque head:
Does this deer have a perruque head?

After Monday night’s meeting, I got to see the email from Joel Hamilton, the new director of the Salisbury Zoo, who outlined one step taken recently to attempt to deal with part of the growth (see Part 2 below). He shared this link to provide Mr. Albero. Cactus-Bucks

This was interesting because, although the condition description was similar, the antler deformity was different looking than the perruque, and the term matched the one in Mr. Messick’s reply of last year.

Another search today turned up another link. See the portion about “Velvet Bucks” within this article. Bizarre-Bucks

Finally, this link raises one risk that faces this deer: septicaemia (blood poisoning. Under “Antler Development,” the article states: “Septicaemia arising through infection of the perruque is a common cause of death in afflicted bucks.”
Wildlife online

As noted in Part 1 of this series, I understand individual legislators cannot direct staff. But as a representative of my constituents, it is my responsibility to share concerns and information and to request updates and responsiveness from the administration on citizens’ behalf. It’s my duty to protect assets of the city and its taxpayers, which this deer is.

Finally, as a human being and animal lover from birth, it’s simply my nature to care about this animal and want to see the best outcome for it.