Maine Wildlife: Fawns
“If you care, leave them there.” That is the motto the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife would like the public to remember when they come across young wildlife. Their website has some great advice and important resources that we encourage everyone to read: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fish-wildlife/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/orphaned-injured-wildlife/index.html
Earlier this spring, the Education Department visited our neighbors at the Maine Wildlife Park to learn more about the fawns in Maine. For many years, our dairy farm has provided the milk needed to feed the fawns at the park. Howie Powell, is the park’s superintendent. He gave us a tour of their facility and introduced us to their first fawn of the season, named Post.
Unfortunately, we learned that many of the fawns brought to rehabilitators are actually not abandoned. A mother deer will leave her young fawn in hiding while she roams around for food. A fawn’s spots and lack of scent are natures way of protecting the fawn while its mother is away. Howie said, “By rule, don’t do anything unless the fawn is standing in the same place for at least 2 days.” He also stressed the importance of contacting your local rehabilitator before approaching any baby animal. They have the knowledge to help you make informed decisions before inadvertently taking a baby animal away from its mother. In those rare cases that a baby animal is orphaned and in distress a list of local certified rehabilitators can be found on the maine.gov website.
As for, Post? He’s doing fine. He was about 11 days old when we visited. Fresh milk from Pineland Farms just arrived so we were able to view a feeding. At this age, fawns need to feed every 4 hours. They’ll receive milk for a month and will slowly be weaned off and fed a mix of grain and raspberry leaves by mid to late August. The amount of milk the Maine Wildlife Park needs depends on how many fawns they receive in a given year, but they’re able to pick up raw milk from Pineland anytime they need it.
In October, Maine Biologists will determine if the young deer are healthy enough to be released and will choose a location based on factors that will give them the greatest chance of survival in the wild. Thank you to the Maine Wildlife Park & the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife for protecting & conserving Maine Wildlife.