Identity crisis: the little red deer who thinks he’s a sheep

A young red deer has found himself an unlikely new family in the fields of Suffolk – a flock of sheep!

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A young red deer has found himself an unlikely new family in the fields of Suffolk – a flock of sheep!

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National Trust shepherd Andrew Capell discovered the deer while counting his flock at Dunwich Heath on New Year’s Day. This lost little fawn has become very attached to a certain sheep in this flock and it would appear he has been adopted.

The little deer appears to have become separated from his own herd before attaching himself to the first group of animals he came across. He has been living, eating and sleeping with his 100 new friends for about two weeks now and shows no sign of leaving. The sheep do not seem to mind their new guest and have adopted him into the flock as one of their own.

Andrew said: “I was counting the sheep on New Year’s Day when I spotted this little deer amongst the flock. He seems happy to be living with the sheep and has made a few friends. They seem to have accepted him as one of their own.”

The Trust had only recently moved the 100 sheep north from Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, where the fields become flooded with shallow water in the winter and so are too wet for the sheep to graze.

It is hoped the young deer will rejoin his herd if they roam past the flock over the coming weeks, but for now this little fawn is happy with his adopted family.

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Words by Lucy Blackall
Image: ©Jeremy Owen (National Trust)