A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)

A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Frieda Van der Ree has a unique visitor she loves to see on her property in Nanoose Bay.

A fawn, which upon first glance appears to have three ears, and its mother have visited Van der Ree’s property approximately twice a week since last spring.

“We see more of them grouped together this time of year, but most often I see just the two of them by themselves,” she said.

Van der Ree has kept a close eye on the pair, partially out of curiosity and also out of concern. While the fawn is “healthy and thriving” now, she told PQB News it previously had a terrible limp.

“I thought, ‘oh no, this is not boding well for the little thing.’ But it seems to have totally recovered from that. Hopefully it was just an injury,” she said.

Wildlife is no stranger to Van der Ree’s property, as raccoons, squirrels and birds are always around. She said that at least three or four deer lay in her yard everyday, on a bluff that overlooks the road.

“They love to lay there and look down on the road so they can have a good view of dogs coming by.”

READ MORE: Distressed deer rescued from ocean in Hakai Pass by Parksville pair

As for the possibility of a third ear, experts would have to examine the animal up close.

An animal care technician at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRC), Megan Buemann, could not recall if a deer with a mutation such as a third ear has ever been brought to the centre. She said it would be a rare find.

The centre doesn’t take in adult deer, said Buemann, as they tend not to survive rehabilitation, citing that 90 per cent don’t make it due to stress.

“But when they’re fawns and have their spots, they do tend to have a greater chance of making it through,” she said.

In those cases, the fawns are transferred to a wildlife rescue hospital that’s part of the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society in Courtenay, where Buemann said they’re setup to accept wildlife such as raccoons and deer.

According to Buemann, she’s aware of a deer and horse mutation where teeth have been found inside their ears, but has not heard of a third ear sighting on Vancouver Island.

In an email to PQB News, conservation office Andrew Riddell suspects the ‘third ear’ is actually an injury where the fawn’s ear was split and healed separately.

Riddell said he forwarded a photo of the fawn to a biologist for further inspection. According to Riddell, the biologist also agrees that it is highly likely to be a healed injury after the ear was split down the middle, and not a birth defect. He said the only certain way to determine if this was a mutation or healed injury would be through a physical examination of the fawn. However, doing so would put the deer through a lot of stress, which could also be harmful.

“We likely wouldn’t do this unless the deer was suffering in some fashion. But, this deer looks good and healthy,” said Riddell.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksvillequalicum beachvancouverislandWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

(File photo)
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

(Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Potential COVID-19 exposure on March 1 Penticton flight

Interior Health lists a public exposure for the Pacific Air Flight from Vancouver on March 1

The Town of Osoyoos is looking into allowing two food trucks at the downtown plaza over the summer, which would require updates to several town policies and bylaws. (Kevin Clark - Black Press Media File)
Osoyoos council to weigh allowing additional downtown food trucks

The proposal would be aimed to benefits the summer’s downtown plaza

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read