NIWRA urges the public to leave a fawn alone unless they have a life-threatening injury or the doe is dead. (Photo submitted)

NIWRA: ‘It’s Fawn Season – Leave Them Where They Lie’

It’s about this time of year that fawns begin to arrive, and the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington urges the public to leave them alone unless they have a life-threatening injury or the doe is dead.

Our motto here at the centre is ‘It’s Fawn Season – Leave Them Where They Lie’.

Newborn fawns will drop to the ground in response to a threat (dogs, cougars and humans) or while their mother goes off to forage.

Fawns do not have a scent therefore the doe will leave them in tall grass or even in your yard.

This adaptation allows for the fawn to be safe from predators. If the doe stayed close the predator would smell her and attack the fawn. So please curb the urge to pick them up thinking they have been abandoned – 90 per cent of the time that is not the case.

If you are unsure, please call the centre and we would be pleased to give you guidance. If children have brought it home, take the fawn back to where it was found.

The mother will return. She is full of milk and the fawn will be hungry. It has been documented where a fawn had been taken from its mother for 48 hours and successfully returned.

When you find a fawn laying out flat on the side or in the middle of the road, stop and gently herd them off into the bush or ditch. This will prevent other motorists stopping or even hitting the fawn. The mother and fawn have become separated when crossing the road and she is probably watching you. The fawns tend to lay flat instinctively hoping you will go away.

If it is necessary that the fawn must be brought to the centre, do not feed it.

Feeding an improper diet may cause its death. Fawns are cute but we must always curb that notion to keep and raise it.

They become 48-65 kilogram adults with hooves strong enough to do some damage. Any young animal will become imprinted to humans and cause many problems.

A deer that is not afraid of humans has an imaginary target on its side for cars and hunters. It is also illegal to have wildlife in your possession without a permit from the Ministry of Environment.

For guidance regarding fawns, call our Animal Care Specialists at 250-927-6025. Please visit our website at

Wild & Free is written by Sylvia Campbell and she can be reached at

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