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July 23, 2008

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Deer With Extra Gear on the Mend

A six-legged whitetail fawn is recovering at a Rome, Georgia animal clinic after surviving an attack by dogs this past weekend.

Veterinarian Dan Pate, who performed surgery on the 4- to 5-week-old deer, said that X-rays indicated the fawn has two distinct pelvises. It also had two tails, one which was amputated during surgery, the vet said.

“It is really an anomaly. It appears it had an identical twin that didn’t form all the way,” Dr. Pate told the Rome News-Tribune.


Its movement appears somewhat labored, as it utilizes one leg from each pelvis, with the other two dragging motionless behind.

Watch the video of the deer here—it’s pretty wild.

“Somehow it has a fairly normal gait, although the center legs seem to get in the way,” said Pate.

Ted Touchstone, who’s been with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for 34 years, told the Rome paper that he has never seen anything to compare with the six-legged freak whitetail.

Touchstone, who received the initial call about the injured deer, said he consulted with George Gallagher, a professor of Animal Science at Berry College, and the two decided to bring the fawn in for medical treatment.

“The reason we all did what we did was to preserve the animal momentarily so the Georgia Department of Natural Resources could deem what was the appropriate thing to do,” Touchstone said.

Touchstone said he believes the animal with likely be taken to the deer facility at the University of Georgia for further study.

How about it Newshounders? You may recall the December, 2006 story about the teenaged Illinois hunter who shot a doe with an extra leg dangling from its chest—but have you ever seen anything like this critter?

Photo by Brittany Hannah of The Rome News-Tribune.


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