Bambi, the young Cape Grysbok who was rescued from the blaze in the Overberg Fire was sadly put to sleep on Monday due to his severe burn wounds.
The Country Animal Clinic made an official announcement in a social media post saying it was not an easy decision.
“With heavy hearts we at Country Animal Clinic made the decision last night to put dear little Bambi to sleep. Bambi’s severe burn wounds, despite our best efforts as veterinarians and animal lovers, motivated this decision.”
The spirited grysbok had fought hard to regain his health and strength and had seemed to be on the road to recovery, persevering even after losing sight in one eye from the fire.
The animal clinic explained that Bambi’s health had declined over the past weekend, and although they treated him with severe pain medication he was unable to bounce back as they hoped he would.
“This little grysbok that captured the hearts of a nation after his rescue from the Betty’s Bay fires was very young and he tried so hard to survive. We loved him fiercely and we did all we could to help him.”
The clinic said that putting him to sleep was the best thing they could do for the Cape grysbok.
“We consulted with wildlife experts as well as officials from Cape Nature and, despite the heartbreak we felt at losing him, we knew that saying goodbye was the kindest thing we could do for him.
“ We did not want him to suffer in any way and we would have continued treating him if we believed his health would improve.”
The clinic expressed their sadness at the loss of Bambi and thanked the public for donations towards helping him.
“Farewell sweet Bambi; we hope that the many thousands of people who have been touched by your story take comfort in knowing that your rescuers, and your vets, tried their best to save you. Our grateful thanks for the outpouring of love and support for this little guy, and again to his rescuers, for their brave efforts. We hope too that humans learn from your story: that starting fires injures, maims and destroys. Rest in peace.”
Bambi became loved by Capetonians for his character, cuteness and likeness to the animated Bambi from the Disney film, and we are heartbroken to hear of his passing.
Picture: ER24 Paramedics/Facebook, Bambi in the rescue vehicle after he was saved from the blaze