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Deer

Orphan Alert: Be very careful not to create orphan fawns by accident. Healthy baby fawns are frequently left alone by their mothers while they forage for food. Unfortunately, many times a lone fawn is picked up by people who mistakenly think the fawn has been abandoned. The fawn is then brought to Native Animal Rescue by the well meaning “rescuers” for rehabilitation. Sadly those fawns have been taken from the mother unnecessarily. The fawn should be immediately returned to the exact location where it was found and then left alone. The mother will return and always take her baby back. If however you do not leave the fawn alone, the doe will not return to her baby. After you leave and she senses the potential danger is gone, she will then rejoin her young.

Remember, if you encounter a fawn lying quietly in the woods, do not disturb. Mom is nearby and will go back to her baby when you are gone.

If a fawn is wandering aimlessly and crying, that may be an indication the mother may have been hurt and will not return. Call Native Animal Rescue for advice at 831-462-0726.

The only time a fawn should be picked up and brought to NAR is if it is obviously ill or injured or if you are certain that it’s orphaned. If possible, before you rescue the fawn, call Native Animal Rescue for instructions at 831-462-0726.

If you see an adult deer with a broken leg or other injury, leave the animal alone unless it can’t stand up. Even though the injury may take a long time to heal, this is far preferable to the trauma of chase and capture. Wild animals have an amazing ability to heal and adapt to many types of injuries.

If the deer is unable to stand up, call Santa Cruz County Animal Services 831-454-7303 OR 831-471-1182 (after hours) or the non-emergency number of the local police for assistance.

  • Please do not let the deer suffer.
  • Do not touch an injured deer as their sharp hooves will do major damage to you.

If you accidentally hit and kill a deer, attempt to move it off the road IF it is safe to do so. Often when a doe is killed, the living fawn(s) will stay by their dead mom and/or dead sibling for hours.

  • If you can safely catch the fawn bring it immediately to Native Animal Rescue, OR
  • Immediately call Santa Cruz County Animal Services 831-454-7303 OR 831-471-1182 (after hours)
Native Animal Rescue       1855 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062

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