A family have told of their “amazing” experience with a wild deer that turned up at their cottage and did not want to leave.
The cute animal was spotted by Elizabeth Zambrano, who was at her dad’s home in Fyvie, on Tuesday afternoon.
Elizabeth, who lives in Banff, posed with the curious creature for a selfie as it became a four-legged member of their family for a few hours.
It followed the pair around the garden and wanted to get into the house. The deer was even named Fern by the 19-year-old.
The Scottish SPCA charity has described it as an unusual incident because deer are normally “extremely timid” animals.
Elizabeth and her father Colin Campbell, 64, were keen to protect the animal from the cars and lorries travelling along the busy nearby A947 Aberdeen to Banff road.
And they had to stop the traffic twice to help the young deer to reach the safety of woods near Fyvie Castle.
Elizabeth said they were surprised to find the wild creature in their garden.
She said: “We saw this deer eating grass. It started coming towards us, smelling our hands and trying to come inside with us.
“We were trying to keep it away from the A947. We had to stop traffic twice as we tried to take it into the woods.
“We walked the deer through the woods and I jumped into my dad’s car and it eventually walked away.
“It looked young and we contacted the SSPCA about it but they couldn’t do anything unless it was injured.”
Colin said the deer just “latched on” to the pair, nibbling some of his plants and appeared lost.
He said: “We had to try and stop it from walking into the road. I think it was lost because deer are usually in groups.
“It just latched onto us and was also enjoying my strawberry plants.”
Elizabeth said it was an “amazing experience” but she hopes that the deer does not make another appearance anytime soon for its own safety.
She said: “We drove home and it was on our minds all night. It was great to have a deer following you every step of the way.
“It was an amazing experience.
“I hope it doesn’t come back because that would mean it would have to cross that busy road. I really hope it finds its way home to its family.”
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said this was “unusual” and that deer do not usually like being with people.
He said: “This is certainly a very unusual incident as deer are normally extremely timid animals who find interaction with humans very stressful.
“It’s possible that the animal has been hand-reared and released and still sees humans as a food source. Or it could be that people have been feeding deer in the area and they’ve learned to associate people with food.
“We’re grateful to the members of the public for escorting the deer to safety in this incidence.
“We would also urge people not to feed wildlife. As exciting as it is, it only has detrimental effects on the animal.
“If anyone is concerned about a wild animal they can call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 for advice and assistance.”
Colin works in the oil industry and Elizabeth is a barmaid.