Saturday, several people in my neighborhood found a fawn laying under a tree near our playground. The adorable newborn looked exhausted and I worried it was abandoned. I had never seen a fawn away from its mother. We stayed away and asked for advice from a professional.
After consulting my cousin Ian who’s an environmentalist, he told us that it’s actually normal for newborns to be separated from mom during the day. He said to leave it alone and advised it’s especially important not to touch or move the fawn.
This was news to me and I figured it would be news to many of you so I wanted to share with you guys what I learned.
After searching the internet, the Hudson Valley Humane Society articulated best what my cousin said to me over text.
[W]e just received our first phone call regarding newborn fawns, therefore it is the time of the year to post this. Deer deliver their newborns in the strangest of places! Residents will find them and be concerned about a newborn deer on their lawn, in their garden, under the azaleas, etc. Most call because they think the fawn is in peril and Mom is nowhere to be found.
Well, Mom is actually off feeding and helping to keep predators away. Those who call ask what they should do for the fawn … Leave it alone, do not touch, move or attempt to feed it. Here’s the scoop.
Deer are NOT like horses. They do not have their legs under them immediately and need time to rest after birth. Horses get up and go that’s the sign of a healthy horse. A healthy fawn will curl up, nap most of the day and move their heads. They have no scent and predators cannot find them unless humans interfere. Mom leaves during the day for two primary reasons: to feed, and to keep her scent a distance from the fawn. Mom will come back (unless something tragic happens to her), but don’t expect her until dusk and certainly don’t expect her if humans are hovering around.
If you are fortunate enough to have the gift of a fawn please enjoy the experience, respect Mother Nature and let the Mom do what comes naturally. She will move the fawn daily so you may see it in different locations.
These newborns aren’t completely vulnerable either. Their white spots on their fur look like sunlight breaking onto the forest floor and offers great camouflage from predators.
I took a few photos of the fawn from far away to properly “enjoy the experience.”
If you look closely, this fawn was born with blue eyes. Apparently that blue eye color usually changes when they’re two to three weeks old.
Of course, there are times when a fawn has been abandoned due to something tragic. According to WikiHow, if you fear there is something wrong, call your local animal control department or nature center. Wikihow adds that one of the problem signs is if a fawn has accumulated fecal matter on its backside, then it is likely alone and without a mother to clean it. If you notice that a fawn is clearly injured or that it is near a dead adult doe, then it is acceptable to seek help too, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
Photos: Ian Oland/RMNB
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