This is just heartbreaking.
Throughout my time here at Whiskey Riff, I’ve seen my fair share of wild videos and pictures of deer with incredibly rare genetic conditions. From all white deer, to purple deer, “female bucks,” and even “cactus bucks” with an absurd amount of velvet on its antlers.
As wild and intriguing as these videos and pictures are, it’s also heartbreaking at the same time, because you know that the majority of these creatures are suffering, and probably won’t live much longer.
With that being said, here’s our latest example.
In this wild scene, you can see a buck walking around with a MASSIVE growth on its chest. The growth is so big that it looks like you could fit two basketballs inside of it. You can see how much the buck is struggling to walk around with the growth, as it extends from the creature’s front legs, down the chest, and up its neck.
Colorado wildlife photographer John DePalma told Outdoor Life that this isn’t the first time he’s seen this creature, saying:
“I’m right up against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and that’s where I saw this guy. I had seen this buck throughout the spring and summer and at least the early fall, and then he disappeared. When the rut gets going, the bigger bucks come in.
He’s not a huge buck, and I hadn’t seen him from early November until Thursday of last week. And all of a sudden I got closer to him and was like, ‘wow, what in the heavens is this growth?’”
National Deer Association director of conservation Matt Ross told the outlet that this growth is most likely a giant seroma, which is a fluid filled cyst that began to accumulate after a soft-tissue injury. Most likely this buck took an antler to the chest, the wound filled up with fluid, and the cyst continued to grow. And if it gets infected, there could be some puss in there too… Pretty gross, eh?
I suppose it technically could be lanced, but I don’t think vets go running into the woods to heal up every wild animal with a stroke of bad luck. Prayers up for this little guy, because it’s easy to see that he has quite the uphill battle without any human intervention.
A number of comments on the post suggested putting this poor dude out of his misery, and that might just be the most ethical solution. Starving to death because you can’t move or eat well, or getting eaten alive by a predator because you can’t run probably isn’t the best way to go. That being said, these kind of masses usually drain on their own so if he can survive long enough, and avoid infection, he might just be ok.