A newborn white-tailed fawn was rescued in Southwest Florida last week after local wildlife officials determined it had been orphaned, its mother nowhere to be found.
According to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), officials discovered the baby deer last Thursday and brought to BluePearl Pet Hospital, a cutting-edge clinic offering a wide range of veterinary services.
“Yesterday, an infant male White-tailed Deer (23-70) was found in Fort Myers with no mom in sight. The fawn was brought to our drop-off location BluePearl Pet Hospital,” CROW wrote in a Facebook post. “He was in healthy condition, so Certified Wildlife Rehabber, Bre immediately took the fawn to attempt renesting.”
In a renesting attempt, wildlife officials will return the fawn to its natural environment. They then keep a close eye on it for 4-6 hours to see if the mother returns. If she does, they will, of course, leave the little family together. A baby’s best chance for survival is in the wild with his or her mother. If she doesn’t, further rehabilitation measures may be necessary.
Sadly, after hours of watching the white-tailed fawn closely (from a distance), officials accepted that his mother wasn’t going to return, nor could the baby survive on his own in the wild. Because the renesting attempt failed, the fawn needed a new home to survive.
Wildlife Officials Warn Against Removing White-tailed Fawns From the Wild
Officials transported him to Creature Safe Place nonprofit sanctuary in Fort Pierce, a center with the goal to “assist animals back to their ‘life paths'”. They do so by giving “sanctuary and rehabilitation to … abused, abandoned, neglected, or injured” wildlife.
Safe at CSP, the white-tailed fawn will rehab and grow with other white-tailed fawns until he’s old enough to make his own way in the wilderness.
As CROW explained, it’s essential not to approach or remove a seemingly orphaned fawn from the wild. Mama deer regularly leave their fawns to lure predators away from their babies. They will almost always return to feed and comfort their young. Handling or moving the fawn can disrupt this process.
“Deer will leave their young in (what they believe to be) a safe spot for sometimes over 12 hours! “Before intervening with any wild babies, please always call your nearest Certified Wildlife Rehabber,” CROW wrote. In doing so, well-meaning outdoorsmen can get instructions on the correct steps to take.
“Sometimes people assume a fawn they find by itself has been abandoned, and they try to ‘rescue’ it,” they continued. “If you find a fawn that you think is abandoned, do not touch it, pick it up, or remove it from its natural environment. Instead, leave it alone and quietly move away from the area.”