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Leave Bambi Alone! Mom’s Probably Nearby

Leave her alone! Wildlife experts say this fawn is probably not orphaned. A fawn who is still being cared for by her mother will usually be calm and lying down. Image by Canyon Lake's preeminent deer photograher Jane Sharp.

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation (WRR) in Kendalia warns residents not to get carried away when they stumble across those cute little Bambi-like fawns blinking helplessly up at them from scrub (and in some cases front porches).

Fawns are brought to WRR on a steady basis April through September — often in large numbers, according to a press release the non-profit issued on Friday.

“Already this year, more than 100 white-tailed and axis fawns have been brought to us for help,”  they said. “While some of these babies have been orphaned after their mothers were killed, others have suffered severe injures.”

“WRR is concerned with just how many fawns are brought to us who are not orphaned and are perfectly healthy. These are fawns who should never have been taken from their mothers. Orphaned solely because of humans, these fawns never fare as well as when left in their mothers care. If you find a fawn alone it is vital that you call the WRR 24-hr hotline at 830-336-2725 to discuss the situation before moving or disturbing the fawn. The following observations can help you determine if a fawn is in distress or safely waiting for mom to return:

  • Is she lying quietly in the grass? A fawn who is still being cared for by her mother will usually be calm and lying down. If a fawn is spooked or frightened by humans or dogs, she may get up and move but will usually lie back down a short distance away.
  • Is she lying upright? Healthy fawns will lie in a sternal position with their front legs comfortably tucked under their chest. If you find a fawn lying on her side, this fawn is likely in distress.
    Is she alone? A doe will leave her fawn for up to 14 hours at a time. She will hide the fawn in a place she deems safe. This could be under a car, in a driveway, in tall grass, or on your front porch while she forages for food throughout the day.
  • Healthy fawn in a dangerous location? If you find a healthy fawn in a dangerous location such as a driveway, busy road, or in direct sunlight, gently move her to a safe, shaded location within 20 yards of her original hiding place, but do not remove her from the vicinity.
  • Though WRR strives to provide the best care possible to all the wild babies in our hospital, no human is an ideal substitute for their wild mothers. If you encounter a fawn in the wild and are concerned for her well-being, call Wildlife Rescue at 830-336-2725 to find out what is best for her.”

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