The story of a fawn that was thought to be orphaned and was delivered to the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) at Madden, northeast of Cochrane, has a happy ending.
Late May and into June is the season when fawns are born to their mothers. Last week, a newborn fawn who had mistakenly been assumed to be orphaned was delivered to the institute. The would-be good samaritan had found the youngster but didn't see the mother anywhere in sight so they took it to the AIWC.
"She came into care, she was a newborn, there were no injuries and it was looking like she had been kidnapped," says AIWC Executive Director Holly Lillie. "So she was reunited with her mother and all is going well."
So just how do you reunite a baby deer with her mom? Lillie says it's really quite simple. "We knew exactly where the fawn was found so we were able to return and then we can monitor from afar and then check back to see that the fawn's condition is stable, that they are hydrated and that they're not deteriorating or anything like that. These are all signs that mom is around and that mom is feeding them."
Lillie explains that mother deers will leave their fawns alone for up to 6-hours at a time. They do this deliberately to help keep the fawn from being found by predators, such as coyotes, wolves, and even domestic dogs. She says fawns are born without a scent, but the mothers have a very strong scent and will leave the area the baby is hiding in to lure predators away.
"She'll come back sporadically throughout the day to feed her young, but she doesn't hang around. She'll feed and then leave, and this is all normal behaviour so we're not concerned when we get calls about fawns. We triage them individually and as long as there is no sign of injury or that they are orphaned, it really is best to just leave them there."
If you have questions about wildlife, you can call the AIWC Wildlife Hotline at 403-946- 2361.