What to do if you find a roe deer fawn?
A complete guide
Every year many roe deer fawns are separated from their mothers by people who love animals, but do not have enough knowledge about how nature works. This guide is intended to prevent well-intentioned but cruel actions to this species.
How do roe deer breed?
Roe deer fawns are born in May. The first 3 weeks it seems a miracle that they can survive. They are very weak and also remain immobile if their mother is not by their side. This can confuse people into thinking they are apathetic and near death.
How does the mother care for her offspring?
When the young are born, the mother cleans them so that they do not smell at all. It hides the young in the vegetation and watches them from afar. She does smell and wants to distract the sensitive noses of predators from her little ones.
The fawns stay still, trusting in their mother’s protection. She regularly approaches the fawns to give them milk. While the young suckle, the mother licks their buttocks to stimulate digestion. Mom eats and drinks everything that comes out. This ensures that the offspring remain undetectable.
Overcoming the critical phase
At 3 weeks of age, the babies already know how to run and jump. They leave their hiding places to be by their mother’s side.
At 6 weeks they lose the white spots on their fur. The white spots protect them from being detected by predators. They increase the possibility of being mistaken for their surroundings.
What to do if you find roe deer fawns?
Leave the fawns where you find them. Don’t touch them. Walk away quietly. If you touch the babies, the mother will not accept them again and they will starve to death.
Even if it seems to you that the hatchlings cannot survive without your help, trust and respect nature.
Separating the fawns from their mother is cruel.
When to take roe deer fawns to a rescue center?
- If you find its dead mother.
- If you see blood on his body. In other words, if they are injured.
If you live in Catalonia, call a private rescue center directly. The Administration (telephone 012) does not accept huntable animals.
The emergency number of the rescue center of the Zoo of the Pyrenees is 610 75 02 24.
Can I take the offspring home and care for it?
Please don’t take it home no matter how sweet you think it is. Caring for young roe deer is not easy. In addition, in the hands of professionals, they are more likely to be able to return to nature. That’s where they belong.
Also, it is not allowed to keep wild animals in the house.
Don’t think of yourself, think of the animal. Take it to a specialized center. You can call, for example, the Zoo of the Pyrenees at 610 75 02 24.
Advice for farmers…
…if you are harvesting a field and you have time to stop the machine.
If the fawns are hiding near the edge of the field, please make a gesture of good faith and leave an unharvested space around the babies. Mom will take them to a safe place once you finish your work.
If you find the offspring in the middle of the field, it is quite unlikely that the mother will go looking for them. Better to take them to a rescue center.
Caring for animals is a matter for all of us.
Never separate roe deer fawns from their mothers.