Shelley Lake Fawn Rescued by Linda Chamblee
6/10/2014 9:03 AM
[Editor’s Note: Linda Chamblee of Raleigh sent us this story and photo about a seemingly abandoned fawn being rescued at Shelley Lake Park in north Raleigh. Keep reading to see who actually “rescued” the fawn, and to learn what you should do if you come across a lone fawn in the wild.]
I spotted this fawn on the evening of June 1 at Shelley Lake in Raleigh, only six feet off the path hidden in the leaves and trees. People kept walking by, but nobody saw the fawn. I brought my husband back, and he said it was only days old and that the mother had left it there to go eat and she would be back.
I was so worried about the fawn, I went back down to the lake the next morning morning to check on the fawn. It was still there. I started looking around to see if I could see the doe. I did spot her up on the hill. I walked back down the path and watched to see the doe come down toward the fawn. She bolted back into the woods when a runner came by.
My greatest fear was that a dog would attack this beautiful baby since it was so close to the path. I knew as each hour passed, more and more people would be walking the path and the doe wouldn't come near the fawn. My husband called the Wildlife Commission and they said as long as the fawn was not standing up and “bleating” (calling out), it was alright.
It was curled up and quiet as a mouse, so I felt it must have been alright.
[Editor’s Note: The advice that Linda’s husband got over the phone from the Wildlife Commission was exactly right. Deer are a“hider species,” which means a doe will hide her fawn in vegetation while she feeds elsewhere. Because fawns lack scent and are camouflaged by their spots, they can hide well from predators. In a typical day, a doe will return to her fawn several times to nurse and clean it, but she’ll stay with the fawn only a few minutes each time before leaving again. She might not return for several hours. Unlike her fawn, a doe *does* have a scent. She also needs to eat.]
When I went back later in the morning to check on it around 11:30, the fawn was gone. The leaves in the area where it had been were not disturbed, so I know that the doe must have found a quiet moment to move its fawn to a safer place. My heart is at rest knowing this beautiful baby is safe with its Momma.