Kidnapping a fawn is a big problem this time of year. Many baby deer were born over the last two weeks, so representatives at WildCare Foundation in Noble say it’s happening again.
Rondi Large, Director of WildCare Foundation, said between 30 to 40 fawns are dropped off a year. More than half of those are kidnapped.
By “kidnapped” she means they are taken away from their moms for no reason. Just in the last week, seven fawns have been dropped off, four of them kidnapped.
She said many people see a fawn laying in tall grass or high vegetation, thinking they are alone or abandoned by the doe. A fawn’s instinct is to freeze instead of run away, so people will pick them up and bring them to rescue groups.
Large said abandonment is not the case most of the time.
“The fawn is what they call ‘parked.' Mom will put them down in some vegetation. She will wander off and continue to graze and come back and feed her baby from time to time,” Large said.
She is urging people to leave those fawns alone.
The fawns that need help will have more obvious signs:
Otherwise, the fawns should be kept in the wild and the mother is likely nearby. Large understands that many people have good intentions when they are bringing the fawns in, but the problem is transitioning the animals to human care, and again back into the wild.
The fawns learn things from their mothers about surviving in the wild. Being in a care facility like WildCare Foundation cannot compare. Large says the ones that have already been kidnapped are being taken care of. They are limiting human interaction by only allowing three people to take care of the fawns.
They try to not talk around the fawns, limiting human sounds to the mimic of a doe. Large calls out “ma, ma, ma” to try and comfort the fawns so that they will eat. She says many of them won’t drink or eat for a few days because it’s hard to transition out of the wild, which can harm their health.
Large said the fawns that were brought in will hopefully be released in the fall. She is asking everyone to be aware of when a fawn should be rescued versus when it should be left alone in nature.