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Deformed deer found in Swede’s front garden

The Local · 20 Jun 2012, 14:52

Published: 20 Jun 2012 14:52 GMT+02:00

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“He was looking straight at me and I just thought ‘damn, he looks strange’,” Enbågen told The Local.

The deer, which turned out to be suffering from a condition called gnarly cactus, or cactus buck, was startled at Enbågen’s arrival and jumped over the rhododendron shrubbery and disappeared.

“But when I was having breakfast he returned, so I took some pictures and filmed him through the window,” Enbågen said.

The film clip, featured below, clearly shows the deer with its bizarre head gear moving around the garden.

Gnarly cactus is a condition which causes the animal’s antlers to continue growing until they cover its eyes. Normally, a hormonal impulse stirs the bucks to rub the velvet off its antlers every year, and eventually shed them.

When a hormonal imbalance disturbs the shedding of the animal’s antlers, each growing cycle produces more velvet and antler material on top of the previous year’s until they eventually grow over the deer's eyes, resembling a cactus.

An animal with this condition will have very small or completely undescended testicles.

“It didn’t have horns as such, more like a big lump or a hat on top of its head. It looked gnarly,” said Enbågen.

Animals with this condition are not expected to live for a long time. Once the antlers grow over his eyes, the animal will be unable to fend for itself.

However, Leif Lithander of the Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet), is sceptical against shooting an animal solely due to this condition.

“But he should be kept under observation and if the horn grows over his eyes he should be culled,” he told local paper Göteborgs-posten.

Enbågen has had plenty of deer visit his garden before, but never any animal that looked like this one.

“It stayed around for a while, knocking over some water cans and grazing in the garden. It’s probably lurking around in the neighbourhood still,” Enbågen told The Local.

Story continues below…

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:41 June 20, 2012 by Nvd
No, it is a dinosaur. :D
19:43 June 20, 2012 by gpafledthis
So? the whole "mammalian" sweedie gene pool is producing "freaks" ! I wait for UNESCO to declare malmo protected site for "Freeks of nature" Is like lab for "biodiversity of all that can go wrong will go wrong" Wait for malmo to elect Murphy as Mayor !!
22:38 June 20, 2012 by Decedo
Maybe the deer wandered up from Ringals, better start looking for three eyed fish in the Kattegat Mr. Burns
06:23 June 21, 2012 by Da Goat
3 cheers for evolution!
06:43 June 21, 2012 by riose
So a deer got cancer. Where are the news?
10:22 June 21, 2012 by Borilla

As usual, you have little or no touch with reality. You have said you have a Swedish grandfather. Given this and your comments, clearly the only "freak" produced by the "swedie gene pool" is you.
11:20 June 21, 2012 by charubun pananon
Catch it for being treated, it might spread virus to others both animal and human !
17:54 June 21, 2012 by nooonotthebees
#7 - It's a hormonal imbalance, it's not contagious.
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