I wrote an article for the Coast Reporter, the Sunshine Coast newspaper. It was a great experience and a learning curve, the biggest of which was going on a word diet! On my blog no-one tells me I can only have 500 words! LOL. But I was really pleased and it was for a good cause to be sure.
I decided to post the original one here with edits for posterity.
A Tale of Two Fawns
On June 2nd a doe was hit on Pratt Road, leaving behind two fawns. This is their story.
On June 4th Anna Miller alerted the FYI Sunshine Coast Facebook Group about the fawns. That’s where I learned about them, just after one of them wobbled by my window! Assuming the mom was around I wasn’t worried, but after reading Anna’s post, I contacted the Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre and they passed me on to Anna.
Anna joined me to search for the fawns and that’s when we wandered to my neighbour’s property and told them about the fawns. They promised to keep an eye open. That meeting would prove to be fortuitous… more on that later.
I continued looking and telling everyone I met about the fawns. Later that afternoon Anna called very excited! They found and captured fawn #1, thanks to Carol Lodewijk. She had managed to toss a blanket on the wee creature, but she got away. Greg Cooney, out mowing his lawn, managed to divert her away from the road. Anna arrived and by this time Team Fawn had grown to include Kathy & Trent Farrell, Susan Jane Hubbard Rule, Diane Henley, as well as Greg. The fawn slipped between the bars of a gate and into a six foot high fenced yard. Undeterred and adrenalin flowing, Anna, with Greg’s help, climbed over the fence. The rest of the team strung out along the gate and Anna scooped the fawn up, handing her to Greg. Oops – Anna was trapped inside! She managed to escape mostly unscathed and along with Greg, delivered the fawn to the Rehab Centre.
But what about fawn #2? On June 5th while out looking again, Greg told me he and some neighbors had spotted her but the wily critter slipped through their fingers. All day people searched the green belt on the north side of Malaview to no avail. Anna came out and we sat on a log and playing a Doe calling her fawn on my phone. Not a peep.
Again on June 6th, I went out early looking. Nothing. Then we got the news that Courtney Bertrand and her father, Bill Rafuse and Becca McKinnon found her on their property. The same people we talked to that first day! They heard a strange noise in the morning, went out and found the poor babe laying on the lawn, cold and weak. They whisked her off to the Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre where the ever-wonderful Irene Davy put her with her sibling on a heating pad and covered her with blanket.
Sadly, fawn #2 passed during the night. At least she was warm, loved and with her sib. I know Team Fawns are hurting from this loss but we did our best which is a comfort! And fawn #1 is healthy, frisky and flying to Critter Care in Langley by helicopter!
Things I learned about rescuing fawns:
- It is important the to learn the difference between a fawn waiting for their mom and a fawn in distress. According to Mountain View Wildlife Rehabilitation, if their ears are crumpled and they are standing and crying and wandering around it means that they need help. If they are laying down and quiet, it means Mom isn’t far and will be back. https://www.facebook.com/100223991428821/photos/a.100252478092639/489474929170390
- They’re invisible when laying in the forest.
- They are faster than you think.
- Bring a blanket, throw it on them and then quickly grab them – gently.
- They’re tough – #1 survived two nights alone without food.
- Goat’s milk is helpful but it they have crumpled ears it means they are dehydrated so don’t feed them anything but unflavoured pedialyte.
- Playing a recording of a doe calling her fawn may or may not work.
- If you hit any wildlife please call the RCMP non-emergency line – 604 885 2266. They’ll send either the conservation officer if available, or one of their officers to the scene to assist. If there are fawns please call Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre at 604 886 4989
- If you are not in Gibsons find the closest Wildlife Rehab centre and call them.
Sadly, another doe was hit and killed on Pratt Road on June 6th, also with two fawns, who were rescued on June 8th by Tammy Trefry (on behalf of PROWLS) and the Fircrest Road community. They are now at Critter Care in Langley, BC, along with fawn #1.
Everyone living in the area knows how fast some people drive along that road. Please slow down and be on the look out for deer and their babies! Being new to Gibsons, I was blown away by how people rallied around to save the fawns. You are such amazing people!
If you’d like to read the newspaper article it is at: https://www.coastreporter.net/in-the-community/a-tale-of-two-fawns-3863571