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PSA: Fawns

True or False: A mother deer will spend all day with her babies.


A mother deer will leave her babies in a safe spot like some bushes or a patch of tall grass during the day. She will return only twice, at dawn and dusk, also known as the crepuscular hours, to nurse her young.

What to know about fawns

Baby deer, better known as fawns, are born from April through July. A female deer, or doe, will have anywhere from one to three fawns, with twins being the most common.

Until the babies are strong enough to keep up with their mom, they are hidden and left alone for most of the time to keep them safe from predators. Many prey animals, including deer, leave their babies alone like this as a defence mechanism.

Often, because of this behaviour, people will find fawns and accidentally 'rescue' them, thinking that they have been orphaned because they are alone, when it is not the case.

If you come upon any wild animal baby it is important to keep your distance and leave them in that area unless they are showing clear signs of distress.

How can you tell if a fawn needs help?

  • If they are bleeding, have a visible wound, or broken limb

  • If they are covered in flies or fly eggs

  • If another animal has attacked them

  • If the fawn is laying on its side

  • If they are continuously crying

If any of these apply, it is time to call Calgary Wildlife at 403-214-1312, where expert advice will be given to help navigate each unique situation.

It is best to wait for a trained professional to arrive on the scene, but if a fawn is in need of immediate help and you have to move it yourself there are a few precautions to follow to ensure both of your safety. Pick up the fawn by gently tucking the legs beneath the body and do not flip the fawn upside down. Always wear gloves when coming in contact with wildlife.

It is important to give deer and other wildlife as much space as possible and only interfere if it is absolutely necessary, fawns and other baby animals have the best chance of surviving and thriving in their natural environment when they a raised by a parent.

Co-existing with local wildlife is imperative to the health of our ecosystems and communities!


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