A MALMESBURY Dr Doolittle is nursing a tiny deer back to health in his garden shed after he found it injured in the road.

John Slater, who works as a mobile fork-lift truck engineer, was on his way to a job in Chipping Campden when he spotted something in the road..

“On the way there is quite a steep hill and my van was going slowly. I thought it was a bit of carpet in the road but as I went past I heard a squeak.”

Intrigued, he turned round and went back to investigate. “As I bent down to pick it up it squeaked again.”

Although he feared it was likely to die anyway he gently placed it in the back of his van just before a heavy lorry drove over the spot where it had been laying.

He took it home to Parklands, settled it with some food and water on an old dog bed in his shed and left it for the night, unsure whether it would survive or succumb to shock.

But to his relief, when he opened the door the following morning the little muntjac was up and about and looking much more chirpy. It even allowed him to check it over and treat several nasty gashes.

Now nicknamed Strawberry because the fruit seems to be its favourite, the doe is recovering gradually. If everything goes well John plans to release it in woodland near the farm where his family’s pony is stabled.

“That’s if it doesn’t get too attached to me. I’ll just have to wait and see how it progresses,” he told the Standard.

It is not the first time John has rescued wildlife. The site where his firm is based in Quedgeley is a former RAF camp and home to flocks of seagulls.

“The gulls sometimes knock the little ones off the roofs. I put them in my van and bring them home and look after them until they are ready to ready to fly off,” he explained. His last seagull patient only left home a two weeks ago.