How to Identify Orphaned Deer

by | Wildlife Fact Sheets |

orphaned deer, deer, wildlifeWhen you find wildlife, whether orphaned, or injured, it can be tempting to touch the animal, or move them. However, we encourage you to call your local wildlife rehabilitation centre before taking action. Fawns, for example, are often left alone during the day. Their mothers return to feed them at dusk and dawn. So, seeing a fawn on its own does not necessarily mean it is orphaned.

A fawn should be left where he/she is found (unless injured) and you can check the site again within 24 to 48 hours. If the fawn is gone, the mother has returned and moved the fawn. If the fawn has moved from the spot, is crying or injured, or if the mother is known to be dead (i.e. the young deer is seen near the body of a nursing doe), call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to advise you on next steps, before touching the fawn.

Note: Whenever young mammals are found, an attempt should be made to reunite them with their parent(s). Parents provide the best care for young wildlife. When young are inadvertently removed from their parents, it decreases the likelihood that they will survive, even with expert human care. Different species of mammals have different development phases and types of parental care, therefore it is important to know some specific information about a species prior to determining if an animal has been orphaned.