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Orphaned or injured wildlife: What to do if you find a fawn

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 7:13 am in deer, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Wildlife, Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Fawn. Photo by Flickr user zhumaly used under a Creative Commons License.
fawn zhurnaly

Wildlife Tips from the Lindsay Wildlife Museum
1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, California

What to do if you find a fawn:
Now is the time to watch for fawns. Deer have learned to adapt to small patches of open space in urban areas and are common in many of our neighborhoods.  Black-tailed deer, a subspecies of the mule deer, are common throughout the northern and central California coastal ranges. While they prefer open chaparral, they will adjust to almost any open space they can find.

Fawns. (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)

Last week during our most recent storm, a concerned citizen was awakened by a crying sound. After some investigation, he found a 3-day old fawn curled up and cold from the rain outside his window.

The fawn was brought to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s wildlife hospital in the morning where it was warmed and given fluids. Soon the fawn was on its feet and alert. When it appeared that the fawn was doing well, the rescuer took the fawn back to his home and placed it back where it was found.

A few hours later, the rescuer called the museum’s wildlife hospital to share that he and his wife had seen the same fawn suckling on its mother and full of life!

What should you do if you come across a baby animal that appears alone?
Observe the animal. It is very likely that the mother went out in search of food and will return. In the case of baby birds, keep an eye out for cats.

*** You can always call the Lindsay Wildlife Museum’s wildlife hospital at 925-935-1978 for advice.

*** Or check the museum’s website for recommendations for what to do for specific animals:

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2 Responses to “Orphaned or injured wildlife: What to do if you find a fawn”

  1. Nebraska Wildlife Rehab – Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education … | Educational Nebraska Says:

    […] Orphaned or injured wildlife: What to do if you find a fawn | Gary … […]

  2. barbara blake Says:

    Hi Gary
    I was appalled, actually traumatized, following last night’s news, which showed the young deer being shot (ineptly, at that) in an Oakland neighborhood by Oakland police. After they chased it with a lasso it ran into someone’s yard. They then cordoned off the yard, evacuated the surrounding houses, and shot at it 4! times with a high caliber rifle, finally killing the poor suffering animal. In my opinion they created a much greater risk to the public than this little deer possibly could.
    In response to the neighbors’ shocked complaints the police said they had to shoot it because it “looked confused and was in the city, and that no one in Alameda has the training to tranquilize a deer”. How safe are any of us who might find ourselves confused on the wrong block in Oakland? I can still hear the loud rifle fire in my head, recorded by one of the neighbors on video and given to KABC and FOXnews. The scene looked like a SWAT team. One of the fathers asked, “What do I say to my children? They think the police just killed Bambi.”
    Can you please write something about this in yopur column? Does your column appear in the Chronicle or any Oakland papers? How do we educate these ignorant macho police?
    I have been crying off and on all morning. I called Contra Costa Animal Control and they assured me that they would never shoot a wild deer, and they do have the training to use tranquilizers in the rare occasions in which they might be needed. I am thinking about calling Mayor Dellums’ office as well as the Lindsay Museum.
    Thank you”!

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