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During late May or early June (fawn season) you may see a fawn or fawns lying beside a road, in a park, in the forest or in a field. They are adorable and the temptation is almost overwhelming to pet them or pick them up, especially if you don't see an adult deer (doe) anywhere around. You might believe that her absence indicates abandonment. However, there is important information you should know before you approach a fawn. A fawn is born without a scent, in other words, predators cannot smell them and therefore they are at a greatly lessened risk for an attack. Once you touch a fawn, even with a glove, they are now visible (by scent) to any predator close by. " But," you say, "the mother deer hasn't been around to feed for a long time, the baby is hungry and abandoned." Know that a doe will leave her baby for 8 to 12 hours. And just because you don't see the doe around the fawn doesn't mean she hasn't been back, they will feed baby throughout the day and night.
So when IS it okay to pick up a fawn?
If the fawn meets any of this criteria, gently pick them up (if injured wrap carefully in a blanket to help prevent shock), and bring them to our office.Ponti's has a license to care for, rehabilitate and release wildlife. If possible, give us a call letting us know you're on your way. We receive no funding of any kind to care for any of our wildlife, so we ask that you make a donation...for fawns, $100.00 if you can manage it. However, we are grateful for whatever you can donate.
REMEMBER... IT IS ILLEGAL TO KEEP A FAWN
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: 509-892-1001
Ponti Veterinary Hospital 509-922-7465