Having a Toyota Hilux animal ambulance on call is proving a great benefit for the Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital in its work rescuing injured creatures and safely returning them to the wild once they have recovered.
Two muntjac deer were among the latest patient-passengers to be carried back to their home territory, in deep countryside that was only accessible thanks to Hilux’s serious off-road capabilities.
Tiggywinkles spokesman Nikki Babb explained: “We suspect the younger deer was the victim of a road traffic collision, but thankfully she escaped with only a minor head trauma and recovered quickly under our veterinary team’s care. The large male was an older deer who had damaged his front leg. He too responded well to treatment and did not lose his grumpy attitude!
“After catching the deer in their sheds we loaded them into ‘deer boxes’ to keep them contained and calm for the journey, and these are safely strapped into the back of the Hilux using hooks and bungees. We use the Toyota’s 4×4’s capabilities to reach the release sites, as we need to get well away from roads and often end up on muddy tracks and fields.”
Both animals were successfully released back into the wild.
Tiggywinkles, based near Aylesbury, has been rescuing, treating and rehabilitating British wildlife for more than 30 years. Tending to more than 10,000 casualties a year, the charity operates the world’s busiest wildlife hospital, dealing with all species from hedgehogs and badgers to deer and swans. The organisation runs entirely on donations and receives no public funding.
Toyota provided Tiggywinkles with its Hilux Invincible Double Cab last year. The all-wheel drive vehicle has been specially adapted for its role, with increased ground clearance and a snorkel exhaust unit, helping it tackle rough terrain and flooded roads beyond the reach of most vehicles. It has also been fitted with a Truckman top over the rear deck, roof rack, high-mounted LED lighting bar, front winch, towbar and Tiggywinkles livery.