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Summer Mother Nature: Watch this deer fawn being born!

Spring and summer is the time of year deer give birth to their young.

Spring and summer is the time of year deer give birth to their young. A deer may have between one and three babies, two being most common. Fawns are born from April though June. They are born with their eyes open and fully furred. The fawn is able to stand in 10 minutes and can walk in 7 hours. Young fawn stay with their mother through next winter.

With rapid development of rural areas, deer are losing their natural habitats and are forced farther into suburbia. They now live close to our homes and towns. In a world where contact with wildlife is more frequent, we may need to change some of our behavior to find ways to live with them. To coexist with deer, they must be understood.

Remember, if you encounter a fawn lying quietly in the woods, do not disturb. Mom is nearby and will go back to her baby when you are gone.

The only time a fawn should be picked up and brought to NAR is if it is obviously ill or injured.

If a fawn is wandering aimlessly and crying, that may be an indication the mother may have been hurt and will not return. Call Native Animal Rescue for advice.

The fawnʼs natural predators are cougars, coyotes, bobcat and domestic dog packs. It is of vital importance that we keep our dogs contained to prevent needless dog attacks on fawn as well as other wild animals. Too often Native Animal Rescue receives injured deer due to attacks by dogs. Most of those injured deer do not survive. There is a leash law in Santa Cruz County so it is of the upmost importance to abide by the law and keep dogs confined to their own territory. Doing so will help prevent attacks on our defenseless native wildlife.

Fawns are born scent-free and have white camouflage spots which protect them from predators. The doe continues to keep her babies scent free by consuming her fawns urine and droppings. This is yet another reason why humans should never touch a fawn. Leaving human scent on their body will attract predators to the fawn. If you have touched a fawn and are returning the fawn to the place where found, please do the following:

  • Put on rubber gloves and get a towel.
  • Rub the towel in the grass then wipe the fawnʼs body with that towel to remove human scent.
  • Leaving the gloves on, return the fawn to the place where found. Now the fawn is once again scent-free and waiting for mom to return.

Kidnapped fawns should be immediately returned to the exact location where they were found and the left alone. The mother will return and always take her baby back. If however you do not leave the fawn alone, the doe will not return to her baby as she will sense danger. Once she senses the potential danger is gone, she will then rejoin her young.

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