Mystic Farm Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Update

Possibly the hardest post I will ever make for mystic Farm updates. Today I lost my dear, sweet , Ali mule deer. After not seeing her for at least a week, she showed up yesterday, in labor, and headed to a stall in the barn. A bit odd, as she had never been confined – in the barn or anywhere else. She had been soft released back into the wild and made her occasional visits just to “check in”. She did not want me to leave her side, straining and getting anxious when I did. I spent the night with her in the barn, hoping the contractions would peak, resulting in the birth of her fawns (we were quite certain there were at least twins – she was so huge!). Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. By mid-day, we could feel (and see) one very large hoof, indicating things were not progressing as should be. The emergency vet was called in to evaluate the situation. As we suspected, but did not want to hear, the fawns were breach and very big. Try as hard as we could to help Ali and pull the fawns out, it was impossible. The fawns had died and poor Ali was giving it all she had to birth them. The vet made a call to the only large animal hospital facility within driving distance to see if we could trailer her in for a C-section. Unfortunately, since it is in Washington State, they would not accept wildlife from Idaho. Doing a C-section on site was not possible – the vet figured only a 5% chance of Ali surviving and it would be a horrible, painful procedure. The only hope was to get those babies out before Ali became too septic, and that hope was gone. As difficult as it was, I had to make a decision. Allow her to linger and suffer a slow and painful death or do the right thing and have her euthanized? As I continued to hold her head in my lap, she took her last breath looking up at me. I truly believe she came back to me in her time of need. She knew I was there to help when she was a newborn orphan and came to me to help her through her next journey in life. Wishing the journey would have been the addition of life and not the end of life… But, I was there to ease her out of this world just as I was there to help her survive her entrance into this world. We taught each other so much. She is, by far, the most special rescue to pass through Mystic Farm. Ali was the ultimate in “soft release” success stories. We buried her in the lower pasture that she dearly loved. Such a loss and such a tragedy. We have lost our sweet Ali and the fawns we so long awaited. My heart has a hole in it. My gut is retching. I wonder, in times like these, if I can go on doing this… But, I know “this too shall pass” and I will move on. Ali, as no other, will always hold a special place in my heart.

*”An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”* ~Martin Buber~ So very true.

Thanks for listening and for all of your positive thoughts and well wishes through all of this. Tomorrow is another day with many hungry little ungulates to guide into soft release back into the wild…

*The attached photo is one of my favorites. Ali with Cookie “Horse Whisperer” (POA) in her ear.


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