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Willow is a gorgeous stag with large antlers that seem to drape like the branches of a willow tree! He’s a bit shy and isn’t one for cuddles, but he makes up for it with his majestic beauty. Being a stag, he is only in the main paddock for three months of the year anyway (usually February til April) while he is growing his new antlers, then he goes down into the stag paddock for the dangerous rutting season. You may still catch a glimpse of him hiding in the bush down there if you have good eyes!

Willow is a Rusa deer, which is a tropical species of deer originally from Indonesia. If you get a chance to pay him, you will feel that his fur is quite coarse, not soft and fluffy, as it is adapted to help him keep cool in the tropical heat. Rusa deer love swimming too!


When you sponsor Willow, you will be helping to provide food, comfortable environments and veterinary care for him and all the animals here at the Lyell Deer Sanctuary, and supporting us to be able to continue rescuing and rehabilitating more deer. We are entirely self-funded, and every little bit helps so much!



You will also receive:

• A personalised sponsorship certificate

• A full-colour photograph of Willow

• Lyell Deer Sanctuary pen and stickers

• Quarterly letters/updates from Willow himself, posted physically to the sponsor’s address (or delivered digitally if preferred). Children are encouraged to write back to him to receive a personal response!

• Free admission to the Deer Sanctuary for 12 months, so you can visit Willow as often as you like

• Membership to our online ‘Deer Hearts Club’, with behind-the-scenes photos and updates

• 10% off tickets to events at Lyell Deer Sanctuary, including our Christmas ‘Adopt-A-Reindeer’ activities

Willow Sponsorship

  • We are a small family-run animal sanctuary, so when you sponsor an animal through us you get personal and individualised service. We are happy to adjust your sponsorship package to suit you: do you want to gift this to a whole family to enjoy together, or a whole class, or even delegate someone else to visit your deer if you can’t come yourself… Just send a message and we will try to find a solution that works for you.

  • Postage of your sponsorship merchandise is included in your sponsorship package, and dispatch will be within 2 business days of payment. The quarterly letters from your deer will be posted physically unless ‘Digital Option’ is selected.

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