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Formosan Sambar Send to the Zoo by the Rescuing Passerby

While spending time with boyfriend in Pinglin on July 17, good Samaritan Ms Xiang saw a Formosan sambar (Rusa unicolor swinhoei) standing by a stream. She saw it again at the same location the next day. And guessed its foot was probably stuck inside a rock crevice at the stream bed. Ms. Xiang also noticed that the sambar’s body was covered with wounds too. She managed to free the animal and drove it to the Wildlife Rescue Center of Taipei Zoo for rescue.

The Formosan sambar is the largest subspecies out of the three deer species native to Taiwan. It is tawny in color, prefers to inhabit near water ponds and swamps, and likes to soak its entire body in water on warm days. In the mountains where they roam, they primarily feed on young plant leaves and fresh grass. They are shy by nature, hence may only been seen in areas sparsely populated by man.

The Wildlife Rescue Center got the call from Ms. Xiang on July 18 and prepared its surgery room upon her notification. When she arrived, vegetarians made sure all the doors to the surgery room were closed before they opened her car door, where they saw a young sambar roughly 3-4 months old standing there covered with dog bites. They gingerly carried it off the car worried it may injure its foot if it were to jump down. The sambar immediately ran to a corner as soon it got off the car, and stood there for the vets to dress its external wounds. It was found to be a female, weighing 16 kg.

Perhaps during her ordeal of first being chased by dogs in Pinglin, than got brought-in to the zoo for medical treatment, the young sambar was agitated during the first couple of days whenever any human came close. But she gradually relaxed and ate all her food including sweet potato leaves, sweet potatoes, carrots and mulberry leaves starting on the third day. Now with her coat growing back and her wounds healing, her rescue efforts have come to an end. In accordance to the legal regulations, the sambar will be decided by the authority-in-charge, the Agriculture Bureau of Taipei County.