DAVIE (CBSMiami) – “Come on Sydney! Come here”
Michael Ruggieri from Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary called to a four month old tiny deer in a soft, coaxing voice.
Sydney is a four month old Muntjac deer, he’s as big as a small dog. He makes a Florida Key Deer look like a giant.
Sydney was found wandering around an Oakland Park neighborhood. Karen Pritsch found him in her yard after he got out of his enclosure down the street.
“You could see it just, hiding in there,” said Pritsch, “right in the brush in here and laying down.”
At first, her daughter thought Sydney was a dog.
“I look and I said ‘That’s not dog’ because you could see the legs and the posture of the spine,” recalled Pritsch. “I said ‘That’s a deer’.”
It’s rare to see a deer like Sydney, even though his kind have been around for a very long time, mostly in Asia.
“They go back almost 35 million years,” said Ruggieri. “They’re one of the oldest deer species that we have on the planet.”
Sydney’s really popular with the employees at Flamingo Garden. They’re just babysitting until his owner gets the proper permit to bring him home.
“We do mostly wildlife rescue,” said Laura Wyatt from Flamingo Garden and Wildlife Sanctuary. “So there’s very few times we actually get to play with the animals because our purpose is mostly to release them.”
And Sydney has a little friend – Wiggles the goat!
“Since they’re about the same age and the same size,” explained Wyatt, “we’ve been letting them out and letting they play together and walk around. They seem to really like each other a lot.”
While Sydney may look like a dog, and sometimes sound like one, there at least one big difference.
“While they like to be petted, these deer do not like to be picked up,” said Wyatt. “That’s why they’re also called the barking deer. If they feel they’re in distress, they feel like they’re being man handled, they will literally bark like a dog.”
Sydney is not expected to get much bigger. When he’s full grown he should be around 40 pounds.