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OH DEER! What to do if you find a baby deer in the wild

OH DEER! You’ve probably seen a lot of posts on about what to do if you find a baby animal. The answers vary, depending on the animal and the circumstances. Bunnies should be relocated back to their nest if you know where it is. Racoon babies with no mom can be handled by animal control officers. Baby ducks somehow always end up in a storm drain, are rescued, get reunited with mom and go about their day.

But baby deer should be left alone 90 % of the time. As cute as they are and as much as you want to “rescue” it from its little patch of grass, human contact could leave the fawn to euthanization.

Most of the time, fawn can’t keep up with mom and rather than attract the attention of coyotes, she’ll leave them hidden in a safe spot for the day and come back to feed them at dusk

Fawns are fed early in the morning and again at night so there is no reason for anyone to be worried that the baby is hungry and alone. It's actually in the safest place possible and mom knows exactly where to find them at the end of the day because she put them there. The next day, she'll find a whole new hiding spot and everyone will stay safe another day.

As much as you want to squeeze the heck out of that little long-legged cutie, control your inner Snow White and let the baby animals be. If they feel safe, mom and baby will continue to visit your yard, where you can watch them from afar.

If you find a baby deer:

Do any of the following apply to the fawn?

• It is bleeding, has an open wound, or has a broken bone.

• It’s covered in fly eggs [look like small grains of rice].

• It’s cold or wet.

• It’s crying nonstop for hours on end.

• It appears weak AND is lying on its side.

          • If YES, the deer is likely injured or orphaned. Contact your nearest permitted wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian for treatment.

          • If NO, then continue on to the next question.

Is the fawn in a dangerous location (e.g., by a busy road, in a backyard with dogs, etc.)

          • If YES, the fawn can be moved a short distance to a safer location.

 • If NO, then the fawn is healthy and simply waiting for mom to return.

Leave the fawn

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