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Wait before trying to rescue fawns, experts say

Posted July 2, 2013
Updated July 3, 2013

— It’s feeding time at Newell Farms Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Warren County, which has seen an uptick in fawns being brought into the facility.

Those who bring in the baby deer usually think they’re doing the animal a favor. But that may not be the case, said Frank Newell, who owns the center.

“A mother deer can raise her baby a whole lot better than I can,” he said.

Newell said people often see a fawn by itself and assume it has lost its mother. But that’s not usually the case.

“The mother is standing a few feet, maybe 50 feet away, watching her baby being taken away from her,” he said.

Agents with the Wildlife Resources Commission advise well-meaning rescuers to wait 24 hours. If there’s no sign of the mother by then, it’s time to call the agency.

Agents said it is a crime to remove a deer from the wild. Experts: Wait before rescuing fawns Experts: Wait before rescuing fawns

There are about 20 fawns currently at Newell’s center, and it costs about $100 to rehabilitate each one. That can get pricey for him and his volunteers.

Barbara Whitman, who used to rehab deer, dropped off a fawn at the center Tuesday. Whitman said the deer hadn’t moved for two days.

“So, we brought it to my house,” she said.

For Newell, it's all in a day's work.

“Some people like to play golf. Some people like to fish. Some people like to hunt,” he said. “I like to take care of wild animals.”


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  • lessismore Jul 3, 2013

    busyb97....I think you are talking about goats. Goats freeze when startled. Never saw a deer freeze.

  • superman Jul 3, 2013

    They are a nusiance. They eat all the plants in my yard.

  • busyb97 Jul 2, 2013

    Oh come on people! Do your homework. Fawns have a natural instinct that they "freeze", and momma takes off. They do this so that whatever it is that scared off mom will hopefully not see the baby.
    Why do we as humans feel the need to rescue them? They've been doing this far better for far longer than the rest. PLUS, many deer roam together as families it seems. We have a family of deer around our home- 5 or 6 of them, and 1 fawn. At least 3 of them are doe.s. I think if the actual momma is gone, the others will step in.