The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin saw 16 fawns come through in May, with another four in the first four days of June. (Courtesy Wild ARC)

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin saw 16 fawns come through in May, with another four in the first four days of June. (Courtesy Wild ARC)

Abandoned fawn doesn’t mean it’s orphaned, reminds Vancouver Island wildlife expert

20 orphaned fawns have been turned in to Wild ARC in Metchosin so far this season

During this season of new growth, a fawn tottering along behind its mother isn’t an uncommon sight anywhere on Vancouver Island.

Neither is the tiniest of baby deer tucked away in quiet corners of yards and gardens.

“The mother only feeds them a couple times in a 24-hour period so she will park them in one spot and then come back to feed them,” said Wallis Moore Reid, senior wildlife rehabilitator at the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC).

The Metchosin rehab centre had 16 fawns come into care in May, with four more in the first four days of June.

RELATED: Wild ARC looking for donations to care for yearly influx of vulnerable animals

Unfortunately a few were in critical condition – newborns left alone too long or young ones hit by cars that couldn’t be helped – but the majority are in care and thriving.

All 20 were in actual need of help and that’s not always the case when a fawn comes in courtesy a well-meaning citizen.

For the first couple weeks of its life, the newest of deer are too weak to keep up. If it’s quiet and peaceful, the fawn is likely simply resting and awaiting its next meal.

Distress indicators include being in the same location longer than 24 hours and being mobile and crying. However, the latter could also be a response to a human approaching, so initial impressions are key.

Anyone not sure can call Wild ARC at 1-855-622-7722 or the provincial call centre at 1-855-622-7722.

READ ALSO: Leave babies alone this Bambi season

“Don’t just pick up a fawn because it’s alone. It’s normal for them to be alone,” Moore Reid said.

Fawning season runs May through early July. It is important for pet owners to keep dogs on leash and for drivers to be wary when they see a deer, watching for followers.

Wild ARC welcomes donations for the extra mouths to feed and young to teach. The fawns in care could use some greenery, and an unusual training aid.

“We’re always looking for more browse, and deer love any kind of deciduous branches besides maples,” Moore Reid said. They’re open to picking up from residences in Metchosin, and grateful for anyone who might drop off usable greenery at 1020 Malloch Rd.

There’s also a bin there to collect other donations, with facecloths in demand during fawn season. They’re used to stimulate the fawns to urinate and defecate when they’re really young.

For more news delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Do you have a story tip? Email: c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BCSPCAWild ARCWildlife

Just Posted

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read