Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
Living with Wildlife: 04/15/2016

Spring Fawn? Leave it alone!

Please leave them if they are not in obvious stress.

Spring. Golden poppies shimmer in the green hills among blue lupine and purple vetch. Glorious yellow daffodils scatter along the highways. Beauty abounds, and at Fawn Rescue, fawns become our focus. The exquisite fawn – child of the doe.

A tiny, four-pound fawn curls quietly under a nearby tree as it waits for the doe’s return. It is too fragile and weak to follow the doe, so she leaves it alone while she forages for the nourishing natural browse she must consume to provide rich milk for her baby.

These helpless wild young ones are picked up by concerned humans who do not understand the ways of the wild. “We have an abandoned fawn. The doe left this one alone as it disappeared into the trees with another fawn. She has not come back hours later. Why would a mother do that?” they ask. “Does never abandon their babies,” we respond. “She must separate the siblings to protect them from predators. A newborn fawn has no discernible odor. This spotted baby lies camouflaged among the weeds. The mother will return to feed it, clean it from top to bottom, move it to a clean bed, then leave once more.” Her constant presence would also attract predators. Fawns are fed three times a day. Early morning, mid-day, then again at dusk. The doe’s rich milk sustains the fawn for many, many hours. Nature’s way.

We ask that you not disturb any fawn lying peacefully and at ease. It is not ill, it is not orphaned, it is not injured. Do not pick it up, although the doe will accept her baby even though it has been touched by humans.

However, if a fawn is seen lying on its side, head thrown back, kicking, thrashing, crying, call us at 931-4550. We will come. Observe the exact location. Give us precise directions. We cannot waste valuable time searching. This baby should not be removed from where it is first observed.

But if a fawn is seen standing by the roadside, it would not be there alone. A thriving fawn soon follows the doe in search of water and lush browse. The doe is nearby although you may not see her. A deer does not have any concept that a car can kill. Do not put the fawn in your car. Pick it up, hooves facing out, and place it back off the road about 20 feet, in the shade, then leave. The doe will not appear while any predator is nearby. Yes, we are predators. The human voice, odor, touch are disturbing to all creatures of the wild. Leave them alone. Do not feed it anything. It survives only on a special natural diet. It will die if fed the wrong food. Cow’s milk can kill. We must not rob them of their wildness. We must not chase them from their resting place. Call us if in doubt. Your calls are welcome.

When a needy fawn must be rescued, we evaluate its condition, then take it to a veterinarian if necessary. Once it is stabilized we move it into one of our rural out-shelters where it is fed formula the equivalent of the doe’s milk, plus natural browse. At about four months of age, once fawns are fully weaned and their spots are gone, they no longer need us. The gate is opened to freedom. The orphans are raised as a family and remain as family.

Most fawns come into our care due to human interference (cars, fences, free-ranging dogs, etc.) Therefore, we feel a deep obligation to correct this wrong by restoring them to health and returning them to the wild where they belong.

Before 1989 there was no place for the public to call when a fawn needed help. Fawn Rescue was founded, and, because you care, we thrive. We have just begun!

Marjorie Davis is the Founder of Fawn Rescue and the president of their Board. She lives in Kenwood.

Readers may submit articles of approximately 800 words on topics of local interest for The Guest Editor column. Email Although we intend to print all submissions, we do reserve the right to refuse to publish any article.


Recently Published:

12/15/2017 - Turkey time
11/15/2017 - Wildfires, wildlife and the rest of us
09/15/2017 - Hurricanes, floods, heat waves, and wildfires all impact wildlife
08/15/2017 - Ending one chapter, starting another
06/15/2017 - Urban wildlife goes mainstream
05/15/2017 - Thursdays with Oliver
04/15/2017 - Tree trimming and trapping – proceed with extreme caution
02/15/2017 - Sonoma Valley = Bear Country
01/15/2017 - Our noisy neighbors: Woodpeckers
12/15/2016 - Books about nature make great gifts
11/15/2016 - Mountain lions, big and small
10/15/2016 - Governor Brown improves lives for captive wildlife in entertainment
09/15/2016 - Rattlesnakes
08/15/2016 - A wildlife corridor in Sonoma Valley
07/01/2016 - Tips for helping wildlife
06/01/2016 - Barn Owl boxes – nature’s own pest control
03/15/2016 - Non-lethal solutions to ranching with wildlife
02/15/2016 - Wild animals do not make good pets
01/15/2016 - Remembering Doug Tompkins: Environmentalist extraordinaire
12/15/2015 - Books about wildlife
11/15/2015 - Wolves return to California; welcome to the Shasta Pack
10/15/2015 - The year of the skunk
09/15/2015 - Long struggle leads to big win for bobcats
08/15/2015 - Wildfires, wildlife, and memories
06/15/2015 - The Henno-Dunbar ravens: wild neighbors

Recently Published:

12/01/2020 - 10 points to consider regarding SDC Specific Plan
11/15/2020 - What is Glen Ellen?
10/15/2020 - Sonoma County defies wildfire public safety standards
10/01/2020 - OVA board should not propose a 25 percent quorum for amending bylaws
07/01/2020 - VOTMA – What we’re for, in good times and bad
03/01/2020 - Who are our homeless in Sonoma County and what are the county’s next steps?
03/01/2020 - Berger remodel now
02/15/2020 - Manage landscape now to be fire-smart and wildlife-friendly
02/01/2020 - Heart full of trails, head full of leave no trace
01/15/2020 - Who’s worse for wildfire mitigation, Gov. Newsom or the PUC’s Johnson?
12/15/2019 - Comcast can improve communications during disasters
12/15/2019 - The poster child for a dreadful cannabis project
11/15/2019 - To park rangers – don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good
11/15/2019 - Marijuana dispensary update
09/15/2019 - Dispensary doesn’t fit with Kenwood’s character
08/15/2019 - FAQs about PG&E Bankruptcy
08/01/2019 - Finding God in the everyday
05/15/2019 - Oakmont Golf cents and sensibility
04/01/2019 - The wrong way to plan for cannabis cultivation
03/15/2019 - Referendum needed on any proposed purchase of Oakmont Golf Club
03/01/2019 - Looking back and moving forward with SDC
02/01/2019 - Sonoma County should protect its residents by abiding by the State SRA Fire Safe Regulations
01/15/2019 - Oakmont East Recreation Center is a sound investment
12/15/2018 - OVA struggles to control escalating East Rec Center costs
12/01/2018 - GEFD – Setting the record straight