Yesterday while mowing the lawn I saw this little head and ears pop up out of the tall grass. I thought it was a rabbit at first, but when he didn’t move I got off the mower for a closer look.
It was a baby fawn, not more than a day old. He just put his head down and stayed put. I couldn’t tell if he was hurt, abandoned, sick or starving, and didn’t know what to do. We live near a main road and I didn’t want him to wander into it, and while spotting deer in that area is not unprecedented, it's not exactly common either. No sign of mommy nearby, but it was the middle of the afternoon. I called animal control to ask what to do.
An officer arrived about the same time my wife got home, he made a few calls and found a vet that would take him overnight until a wildlife rehabilitator could take him. My wife questioned his judgement (and mine for calling him in the first place) and thought at least we should take him to the vet ourselves so we could talk to them and make sure it was the right thing to do. Sure enough, the vet looked him over and said he was fine, wasn’t dehydrated and probably the mother would come back overnight to get him. If he was still there this morning (they said he would not wander off without mom), then maybe the mother was hit by a car and we’d have to look into a Plan B.
So we took him back to the same spot where I found him. Then as I was putting away the mower I noticed a big doe on the far corner of my neighbor’s property, watching me closely. Darkness soon fell, and after a few hours I checked and mom and baby were gone!
An awfully long way to go to end up simply letting nature take its course, but there was a happy ending and I’ll know better next time. I sure gave that fawn a weird day he didn't need to have. But the day he gave me I'll remember fondly for a long time.