Jul 24

Moms to the Rescue

Fostering our orphans to a willing, wild mom or family is something we never cease to enjoy doing.

Watching a fawn running behind a clearly receptive doe or seeing a baby robin snuggle into a nest with its new family is very heartwarming and we feel reassured they are in better hands than ours.

This summer, while fostering a white-tailed fawn, we had an experience that we have seen only once before. As we played the call of a fawn in distress on our loudspeaker, a loud "snort" made us jump. There, in the bush next to us, was a doe who clearly wanted this fawn. Staff picked up the fawn and began to walk towards the trees where the doe was, but just as the fawn was picked up, a second doe came from the forest on the other side of the road. Yes, a second doe was determined to rescue the fawn! In their world, when they hear the distress call, it likely means a predator is after the fawn and they will come in to protect the baby. Only does who are lactating and are prepared to take on the care of the fawn will respond like this.

We decided to put baby into the bushes and let the two girls work it out. We typically leave the area quickly, making the doe feel she has chased the predator away. We park down the road a bit and wait 15 minutes or so. Once the waiting period is over we go back to ensure baby has been picked up. Researchers agree that a fawn will not leave an area unless it is lead by a doe. With two eager moms, how could this little guy lose? All that was left was a small trail in the grass where baby had gone with its new mom.

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