'Bambi' rescued from ashes of Ocean View fire

2017-01-16 10:01
'Bambi', the rescued grysbokkie. (TEARS via Instagram)

'Bambi', the rescued grysbokkie. (TEARS via Instagram)

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Cape Town – A tiny, orphaned grysbokkie named Bambi is on the mend after being rescued from the hot ashes of last week's devastating fire in Ocean View, Cape Town.

- PICS: Animals saved in the Simon's Town wildfires

The recently-born buck was staggering across a burnt veld, her umbilical cord still attached, when TEARS operations manager Mandy Store saw her, explained Tracy Gilpin, spokesperson for the animal rescue and rehabilitation NGO.

"She was days old, unsteady on her feet," Gilpin said.

The buck was scooped up, held to Store's chest for warmth and rushed to the home of a former SPCA Wildlife Unit head, Brett Glasby, who has kept close ties with TEARS.

She was bottle-fed and named Bambi, after the deer who lost its mother in the tearjerker Disney film adaptation of Felix Salten's Bambi: A Life in the Woods.

Taking the bottle was a moment of hope because they had been worried that she might be too stressed or dehydrated to drink.

"She gets stronger as each day goes by," said a relieved Gilpin.

A woman walking her dog on Black Hill, near Kleinplaas dam, found a second grysbokkie.

They were hoping it would be Bambi's mother. When they managed to rescue the exhausted animal they saw she was not lactating, as a buck who had just given birth would be. Sadly, Bambi's mother is still missing.

Gilpin said Bambi's mother may be in hiding until she felt the coast was clear.

The fires that started in the Somerset West area on January 2, as well as the fires which then sparked near Simon's Town, brought devastation and tragedy. On Friday, over 1 000 firefighters were working to put out various fires around the city.

Numerous animals had to be evacuated. Horses were led to safety through the night in some places.

Gilpin said after the fire, many animals came down to the roads as they searched for water and to escape the smoke.

She urged drivers to take care on the mountain slopes near roads and not run over the animals and birds.

A troop of baboons, wandering dazed and confused, had also been spotted.

Animal lovers were asked to not go into the ruined vegetation to find lost animals as this might frighten them further.

Instead, sightings of distressed animals could be reported to TEARS' emergency line on 071 864 4849.

Donations of blankets and money would help with the rehabilitation of animals brought in.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires  |  good news  |  animals

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