British Olympian Carries Injured Deer Two Miles in Attempted Rescue

   01.23.15

When Olympic long jumper Greg Rutherford came home covered in blood, at least he had a good excuse. According to the BBC, the gold medalist was walking his three dogs near his home in Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire when he spotted an injured doe with a broken leg. Observing that the animal had lost a large amount of blood, Rutherford decided to carry the deer roughly two miles back to his home for treatment. Thankfully, instead of finding a whitetail or roe deer, Rutherford had instead found a diminutive muntjac deer. Still, the accomplished athlete said that the hike back was no walk in the park.

“So I decided to pick up the deer and take it back to my house,” he told The Mirror. “It’s a good thing I am back in training as it took a lot of effort to carry it back. My arms were aching like I had done a full gym session.”

As Rutherford notes, even muntjac are relatively heavy. The Olympian swaddled the deer in towels and called a nearby wildlife sanctuary, which just happened to have medical staff on call. They arrived at Ruferford’s house and put the deer’s leg in a splint, but later x-rays revealed that the deer was too critically injured to save. Due to possibly a bad fall or a traffic accident, the animal suffered injuries to her pelvis that was beyond anything the animal hospital could fix.

“It was too extensive. Normal bodily functions couldn’t have happened and it was decided it was kindest to put her to sleep,” said a spokesperson for the wildlife sanctuary in Aylesbury. Rutherford, who was disappointed in the decision, posted the following on Twitter.

Muntjac deer are one of the oldest deer species in the world and are among the smallest. Muntjacs, also known as barking deer, can grow up to 80 pounds and about 18 inches in height. Although they can grow tusks like Chinese water deer, male muntjacs also sport antlers.

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