HE faced an uncertain start in life but now Snowflake the tiny muntjac deer is in the safe hands of staff at an animal rescue centre.

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The newborn fawn – who weighs less than a bag of sugar – was found in a back garden of a home in Sible Hedingham on Sunday and taken in by the concerned resident.

He is only a few days old and although the kind-hearted man who found Snowflake could hear his mother calling in the distance, the tiny deer had been left in a life-threatening state of shock after suddenly entering the world into the midst of the ongoing cold snap.

Rosie Catford, of Wildlives Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Thorrington, said Snowflake would be hand-reared until he is able to take care of himself. Once he is five or six months old, he will hopefully be released into the wild close to where he was found.

Ms Catford said: “He was born in the snow. Deer tend to give birth and then leave the fawn in the undergrowth and return to feed it. We always say that if you find a fawn on its own, that’s normal. But this chap rang the RSPCA to say he had a deer in his garden and he was worried about it and had put a blanket on it.

“We told him to remove the blanket, then he rang back and said he was still concerned and sent a photo which showed it had actually collapsed.

“The little deer was in trouble and so we are assuming that mum gave birth, because he is relatively newborn, and it was a bit of a shock to the system to be dropped like that into the snow and he just wasn’t strong enough to follow mum into safety and now he’s been handled there’s no way she would take him back.

“He’s just not strong enough to stand up yet – he only weighs a kilo and is smaller than a cat. But he’s doing well and is being bottle-fed with a milk formula now and should be fine.”

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