It can be tempting when you see a fawn to do something about it. After all, a fawn seems like a small, defenseless baby to us. We’re not deer, though, so we as humans don’t understand the complicated behavior of deer. Touching a fawn, regardless of the situation, could cause a lot of unnecessary problems. If you find a fawn and are concerned, here’s what you should do.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Here is what you should never do when you find a fawn:
- Don’t touch it. Touching a fawn could cause your scent to rub off on them. If you do happen to touch one, try to wipe it down with a dry towel to remove the scent.
- Don’t move it. Doe leave their offspring in designated areas with the intention of returning at dusk. They might not be able to find the fawn if you move it. Only move the fawn if it is in immediate danger, like very close to a road.
- Don’t give it anything. Some may be tempted to provide the fawn with milk or water. The reality is, if you aren’t a professional animal caregiver, you don’t know what fawns need to survive. It is where it is for a reason, and the doe has not forgotten about it. It is extremely rare for a solitary fawn to be an orphan.
What You Should Do
- Keep pets away. A dog won’t have the sense to leave a fawn alone, so put your pets in the house until you see the doe come back.
- Leave the area. A fawn who is sitting still, quietly sleeping or relaxing, is most likely not orphaned and doesn’t need any further disruption. The mother will be back within the day.
- Watch for orphans. You should still come back to the area the next day just to check if the fawn is still there. If it is, and it is bleating, you should contact a wildlife rehabilitation center. You should also call for help if the fawn is visibly injured or sick. A truly injured or orphaned fawn needs to be cared for immediately.
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