A “MIRACLE” fawn which survived after its mother was killed in a car accident while she was pregnant has been put down — because it was too tame.
The deer appeared from his mother’s ruptured abdomen after being struck by a car in Chapeltown Road, Turton, in June.
The orphan was rescued and was taken to the RSPCA Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire.
After a month, the male roe deer was taken to a centre in Norfolk with specialist facilities to rehabilitate deer into the wild.
The animal was released into the wild last week, but the RSPCA said the deer was too tame following its release and it had to be put down.
The move has been condemned by the British Deer Society, which said it was irresponsible to bring up the deer and expect it to be able to go back into the wild.
David Kenyon, from the British Deer Society, said: “If the RSPCA took the decision to raise the deer, then they should have taken the long-term decision to put it into a petting zoo.
“It was irresponsible to bring up a deer and expect it to go back into the wild.
“I have heard of deer being raised and put in petting zoos, but I have not heard of one being raised and then put down. That’s a first.”
The RSPCA has said that when a tame deer had been placed in a deer park before it had jumped on people. That could have been dangerous because of its large antlers and it was shot by the park owners.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “The deer which was born after his mother was killed in a car accident was released into the wild.
“Sadly, it was immediately evident that he was too tame to cope with his new environment and his welfare would have been at risk if he had remained there. Staff caught him again and he was put to sleep in a humane way.
“The ethos behind our wildlife centres is to get wild animals back to where they belong. In addition, a male roe deer as tame as this could pose a serious risk to humans, as well as to itself.
“As with all wildlife rescues, we took a risk that this deer would not thrive on release.
“We took the chance that we could rear it, knowing that we might have to euthanase it if it sadly proved unsuitable for a life in the wild.”