|A True-Life Rescue Adventure and What to Do When You Find A Fawn
"I was driving home from church one Tuesday night and was coming around a corner and out in the middle of the road was a coyote. It had dragged out a baby fawn about 12 hours old. I stopped the car and found that it was alive. I picked it up and carried it to the side of the road while my wife took the kids and called the game warden. She came back with a blanket and we wrapped it up and took it to the game warden. He checked to see if she could walk, but she was very wobbly, so he kept her and she made it through the night.
The next day he took her to the field where we saw the mother and left her for a few hours and when he came back she was gone and there were adult tracks with her. This was a great experience because very few people get the chance to see and even pet a newborn wild fawn. My kids were so excited that they got to pet a newborn fawn that they told everyone they knew."
-- Contributed by John Pratt --
What to do if you find a baby deer:
The story above illustrates how a rescue can be successfully attempted. However, if you merely find a baby deer that you think has been abandoned, that most likely is not the case.
The adult deer will leave a fawn hidden in undergrowth for up to eight hours at a time. More often than not, a fawn that appears abandoned is just waiting where his mother put him, behaving in a way that has genetically benefited the species over countless generations.
If a fawn has human scent on him, the doe may well abandon him. If you are in any doubt about whether help is needed, contact your local wildlife center, as John Pratt did. They may be able to help you ensure that the fawn is discreetly monitored until the mother deer returns.
If the fawn truly needs rescue, covering an injured animal will help reduce stress and keep it warm. Be careful not to handle any animal or bird who needs rescue any more than necessary. Put it somewhere quiet, dark and warm. Contrary to what we might think, wild creatures are not calmed by contact with humans. Talking to them and stroking them can only increase their stress.