:: Wednesday, June 06, 2007 ::
On June 1st, after Crows Nest, I drove via Hwy 3 to Creston, where I ended up staying for the evening and then headed on to Kelowna.
This is from the at the Alberta Visitor centre on the BC border on Hwy.
and this is a little further West down the road:
On June 2nd, I headed into the Okanagan...
(those sensitive readers may want to stop reading this post here as the next bit is a little graphic)
The drive, to this point in the trip quite pleasant, was to turn eventful in a most unfortunate way. On the downside of the Phoenix mountain summit pass on Hwy 3 near Grand Forks BC, the road took a long curve as it levelled out after a steep grade of 7 % or so. When I made a turn, I came across a pick up and an SUV on the opposite side with their 4 ways on. I thought It was a collison or something so I slowed down to assist as did the biker who was about 20 seconds behind me. An older guy in the lead pick up truck had hit a deer just moments before and was just rolling to a stop himself. His pickup truck was about 100 feet down range from the impact and the second vehicle was at the scene. He said the animal had jumped out of the bush with no warning and he couldn't do anything except hit it. Never had the chance to swerve.
I pulled over onto the soft shoulder and put my 4 ways on and got out to see if I could help or at least slow down oncoming traffic if there was a hazard. The doe was in the ditch completely blown open on its right side with a tiny fawn beside it. Both obivously dead. The driver of the SUV was holding a second fawn. It was still alive - but barely so. From what she described and it soon became obvious, both of the fawns (deer can have twins I later googled ) were still inside the mother and the impact ripped the mother open and brought them unceremoniously into the world. The one that was alive was still slime covered and wet and was asperating white fluid.
It didn't appear to be injured other than a scrape on one of it's ankles and was squirming and kicking its legs. Not in a seizure sort of way, more a natural squirmy way. The woman was going to transport it to a local vet in Grand Forks and I found a roll of paper towel to clean it and a towel to wrap it in. But it was not looking good soon after. The thing, while likely near term as they are born around now, was not well. It soon stopped regular breathing with it's tongue lolling out. Soon it stopped moving. The woman and I (mainly her) tried to get fluid out of it's lungs and drained a fair bit. She even did artificial respiration on the fawn for a few mins. But the shock was probably too much at such a young age.
The first time in my life that I have touched a deer - wild or domesticated, and it had to be to find a pulse in the neck of a now visibly dead tiny fawn through its wet and matted pre-birth fur. It was alive seconds before and now gone. Really sad stuff. It took a bit to get over witnessing that. And no, I didn't take any pictures. Sometimes participating is more important. The woman is to be commended for her efforts to save the lil guy. She went above and beyond what a lot of people would have tried to do.
:: Mike Wood 20:26 [+] ::