What to do if you find an orphaned deer

by | Wildlife Fact Sheets |

This sweet little guy was found by a member of the public, and thankfully animal control officers for the City of Markham were able to assist by taking the fawn to a wildlife rehabilitation centre, giving the fawn a fighting chance at survival.

When 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.

What can you do if you find a fawn?

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 before touching the fawn. They can advise you on next steps.

In the case of this fawn (pictured), he was brought to Shades of Hope Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, with the goal of releasing him back into his natural habitat, healthy and happy.

Important to 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. Each wildlife species has its own specific needs and requires specialized care to recover.