Little Rupert Deer on Phone Screen
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Little Rupert The One Pound Deer

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on March 24, 2011

Outline

Longe circulated message claims that attached photographs depict “Rupert”, a one-pound deer that was delivered by caesarean section at a wildlife hospital after his mother was killed by a car.

Brief Analysis

The photographs are genuine. Little Rupert was born by caesarean at the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in September 2008. Sadly, Rupert died just a few days after he was born despite the efforts of his carers.

Example

Subject: FW: One pound deer——–He is beautiful

One pound deer—he is beautiful

Kinda ‘makes your day doesn’t it ?

This tiny deer was delivered by Caesarean section at a Wildlife hospital after a car killed his mother.

Little Rupert, who is so small he can fit in an adult’s hand, was born after vets failed in their battle to save his mother.

Rupert Deer 1

At just 6″ tall and weighing just over a pound, he is now in an incubator in the intensive care unit at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Buckinghamshire. He has only recently opened his eyes.

Les Stocker, founder of Tiggywinkles, said, “Rupert’s mother had very severe injuries. We brought him out and got him breathing, and then he went into an incubator on oxygen. He is now being fed by a tube.”

Rupert Deer 2

Rupert in an incubator.

Rupert Deer 3

Rupert pulls a striking pose for the camera.

Rupert Deer 4

Staff members are optimistic that Rupert, now 5 days old, will make a full recovery.

“Deer are very, very tricky, but this one has spirit. He’s an extremely feisty, Little guy and quite pushy,” Mr. Stocker said.

Rupert Deer 5

Asleep: Rupert takes 40 winks.

Hope you will share this one.

Image credit: Les Stocker

 

Detailed Analysis

These photographs of a tiny deer have been circulating via email and social media since 2008.

The message that comes with the photographs claims that they depict “Rupert”, a deer born by caesarean section at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Park after his mother was killed by a car.
The photographs are genuine and were taken by Les Stocker at the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Park in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK. An article about Rupert on the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Park website confirms that his mother died a few days after being struck by a car. She had major injuries and, in spite of expert care, the staff at the park could not save her. The article explains:

As her pregnancy was so far advanced, the decision was taken to give her unborn fawn a chance. Rupert was delivered by Caesarean section on Thursday 25th September [2008].

Rupert was very premature and taken immediately into intensive care. He was placed into an incubator with an oxygen supply and heat, and a soft vet bed so make him comfortable.

He was unable to suckle initially and so was fed by tube initially with colostrum to mimic the protective feeds he would have received from his mother.

Sadly, however, in spite of intense efforts to save little Rupert by dedicated carers at Tiggywinkles, he died just six days after his birth. An October 2nd 2008 report in the Bucks Herald, noted:

GUTTED’ is the feeling of staff at St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in Haddenham after the sad death of little Rupert a tiny muntjac deer on Wednesday afternoon.

The six inch baby who was delivered by caesarean section earlier this week was dicing with death from the beginning of birth after his mother died from serious head injuries.

At just over a pound in weight he was kept in a life supporting incubator in intensive care and was thought to be two or three weeks premature. He had all the symptoms of a premature human baby. His lungs were not inflating properly and problems emerged after he was not able to ingest his mothers milk (colostrum).

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer