'I am Wildlife Rescue'. The Fallow Deer Fawn
Bambi doesn’t have anything on this little cutie. Let's meet a beautiful Fallow deer fawn who arrived at the sanctuary.
A large blue corex box arrived on a warm Summer morning, and was carefully carried to a pre-made enclosure which the team had especially constructed at the top of the hill. The rumours that a very special animal was arriving spread around our small team eager to get a view. No one had ever seen, or been so close to, and definitely not been in a position to foster a Deer fawn.
The box was placed in a heap of fresh straw deeper inside the new enclosure, as the small party of volunteers retreated a few steps away. I remained crouched at one end of the box. A gentle shuffling came from inside. Quiet once again. Discreetly, I teased open the flaps securing the box together and slowly drew them apart. Crouching close to the ground i peeped in and what i saw was astonishingly beautiful. A set of thin, lightly speckled long legs drew my gaze toward the rear of the box where a pair of the deepest, dark eyes looked back at me. My first encounter with an orphaned Fallow deer.
After a few days the fawn settled in well from the offset feeding hungrily from the bottle and becoming familiar with its new carers and structure of life. Raising infant deers was an intrepid and inspiring challenge largely because you are presented with a wild animal you have little knowledge about and now in a position to use all the specialist skills and practice to draw upon. With advice from experts, vets and colleagues in the wildlife rescue community the fawn literally came on leaps and bounds. So much so that the team needed to extend the perimeter height to prevent the fawn leaping out. One hugely important task was to name the fawn. A sweepstake of names was put into a hat: The drama and suspense of what name would be drawn out of the hat was an exciting prospect on the agenda: Could it be Speckles or perhaps Dave? The award winning name went to Bambo.
In the wild Bambo would have stayed with her mother for around 4 months and then stay with the social group. Bambo came to us shy of a couple of months old after being plucked from the countryside by a well meaning passer by who thought Bambo had been abandoned by his mother. During the Spring the Doe (the female deer and mother) will leave their young in a safe inconspicuous place while they feed close by. This is a natural behaviour for the fawn waiting for the mother to return every few hours. We suspect that this was the case for Bambo when the passerby thought she was abandoned. In-fact the fawn is usually perfectly fine. It is good to be armed with some natural history knowledge!
The British Deer Society has a good article and further information on abandoned young deer:
Bambo gave everyone at the sanctuary joy. She was a celebrity in herself and to everyone who met her. Bambo's story was a success as she stayed at the sanctuary until she was a year old before being re-homed into a social group at a large deer park.
Be inspired about Fallow deer by watching this insightful film Dama: The Deer that Walked the World. Watching time is 30 minutes.
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