Nala is one of the Barasingha deer from Terra Natura, the animal and nature park in Benidorm. She has just given birth to her first offspring but has not taken well to motherhood and has rejected the young fawn.
Staff at the Benidorm theme park became aware that something was wrong when they noticed her indifference to the young fawn´s needs as well as noting that she had not eaten the placenta which is normal for this species, The mother doe normally eats the placenta to remove the scent of blood, so the young fawn will remain as invisible to predators as possible. The placenta is most likely a source of quality nourishment at well to help the doe who now has to produce rich deer milk.
Once staff were aware that there was a problem, the fawn was taken to a separate area to be treated and fed away from the herd until she was old enough to be reintroduced to the herd.
The fawn, who has been named Elena after the Moto2 rider, Elena Rosell, is being bottle feed formula milk as well as receiving antibiotics and food supplements to build up her strength.
The first few days were not easy, Elena only weighed 6,5 kilos at birth which is small. Added to this she developed a fever because the urachus (the urinary bladder which develops into a fetus) had not been reabsorbed after birth as is the norm.
Staff surgically removed the urachus and she is now doing well and has put on weight. When she is strong enough she will be released back into the herd.
Terra Natura currently has 11 barasingha deer in the park, seven males and four females.
The species is named after the Hindi words barah & sig which mean twelve and horn respectively. These animals are also known as swamp deer as they spend much of their time in the water in wetlands, where they are protected from attacks from predators.
They have an acute sense of smell which allows them to detect the presence of predators and danger at a great distance.