You may have seen some fawns around town. They’re even cuter than big deer, and have not yet learned to destroy all your foliage.
Wildlife in Crisis — the Weston animal-rescue organization — gets plenty of calls at this time of year, when most fawns are born. Callers often want to know if the fawn is an orphan, and how they can help what they believe is an abandoned animal.
Here are some tips — straight from Wildlife in Crisis — on what to do if you see a fawn or 2 in your yard.
Ninety-nine percent of fawn calls do not involve orphans. Generally, if there is no dead doe in the area or on nearby roads, the fawn is not an orphan. Often, does will not return to their fawns until well after dark.
Keep yourself and pets far away from the fawn. It may take 24 hours for a doe to feel safe enough to return to her fawn. If a mother were to return prematurely, she might lead a predator directly to her fawn.
Do not touch the fawn. This could cause the mother to reject it. If the fawn has already been “handled,”wipe the fawn off with a clean towel rubbed with dirt, put on a clean pair of gloves, and return the fawn to the site of origin.
If the fawn has wandered into someone’s garage or other precarious position, gently coax it out or move to a quiet, nearby site while wearing gloves. Do not move the fawn too far.
Coyotes, dogs, cats, racoons, construction, etc. are not reasons for fawn removal. These are things that deer must encounter on a daily basis in Connecticut. A mother deer will mover her fawn away from danger if given the chance.
Fawns are born late May through the end of June, with the peak number born in early June. Mother deer often give birth at night in areas (such as peoples front yards) which may seem perfectly safe at night but differ drastically during daylight hours.
For the first 5 days after birth, fawns will not run when approached. Instead, they will exhibit “freeze behavior.”They lie still when approached, even permitting handling with little resistance. From the 7th day on, fawns will exhibit “flight behavior” when approached. By 1 month of age fawns venture out to browse with their mothers.
Fawns raised by humans must be raised in groups of 6 or more, as they are herding animals. Fawns will imprint on humans very quickly if kept by themselves or with too few other fawns.
If the fawn appears to be orphaned or injured, or if you have questions, call: Wildlife in Crisis at 203-544-9913.
The above information applies to young fawns only (under 3 months of age). Adult deer cannot be successfully rehabilitated. An adult deer that is injured and cannot get up and walk away on its own should be euthanized—in which case you can call local police. Injured deer can heal very well on their own, as long as they are mobile..