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Thread: options for orphaned fawns and the possible pr nightmare

  1. #1

    options for orphaned fawns and the possible pr nightmare

    Hi everyone, firstly I am not trying to stir up a hornets nest or am advocating we should do one way or the other. So this is just to inform the forum members of some facts that are out there regardless of what I think is best.

    As everyone knows dependent offspring can be shot and should be shot if the other option is slow starvation.
    So what are the options if we accidentally shoot or have (broken leg, rta or what not) to shoot a hind with calf. Or have to deal with an orphan attacked by someones dog etc.

    You can shoot the fawn, but that will A: Not go down well with the public that might have called you in (shooting an innocent Bambi type feeling) B: The attending police officers might think twice about calling you in as they have to deal with the PR blowback
    C: I am sure some stalkers will still be reluctant to shoot/bleed a little fawn.
    D: Give the anti stalking people more ammunition in their campaign to prove we are merciless blind killers instead of deer and wildlife managers with a soul.

    Now what are your other options?

    With orphans there are a few specific problems,
    If you keep them alone and isolated they tend to die from lack of parental care/stimulation.
    If you fuss them to much they will get to accustomed to other animals (loving to play with the dog) or humans ("imprinted") thus making release into the wild virtually impossible or dangerous.

    There a few animal/ wildlife rescue operations that can rehabilitate deer, or at least try to. (free of charge)

    The RSPCA will take in orphaned animals but have not the best track record regarding imprinting these orphans. (I think there was a nice thread somewhere on the forum about them having to pts an imprinted "saved" orphan). Of course if imprint does occur placing in a wildpark, deer park or zoo is an option. (potentially dangerous male animals can be castrated if need be) because the bad press the rspca does tend to lean more and more towards the pts route.

    There are plenty of other wildlife sanctuaries who will raise orphans with their dog/sheep/goats/kids in the kitchen and back garden. As long as they have the facilities to keep them for life afterwards, fine.

    There are a few that actually get it right and successfully relocate the animals back into the wild. The more successful ones are those that completely isolate them from the public and house them in orphan deer groups.

    For those who are interested, success rate with deer orphans can be up to 90%. (adult at best 10-20%, as they get stress myopathy). Release is either in local herds (fallow) or preferably at the site where the animal was found.

    Muntjac fawns pose a problem with the core area's but some wildlife sanctuaries have a permit to release them at the site where they were found.

    Those that want to go down the alternative route the vale wildlife hospital/rehabilitation center is fairly centralized, seem to know what they are doing and will pick up/treat these animals free of charge.

    I hope this might help if you find yourself in a bit of a PR predicament. As I stated at the beginning I just want to state the possible, not indicate what I think should be done.

  2. #2
    SD Regular teyhan1's Avatar
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    Over the years I have known quite a few orphan fawns.
    I have not tried to rear them but have had contact with them.
    With regards to Roe, all apart from 1x died. Normally within the week.
    With regards to Fallow, they seem to have been more successful. Rather strangely though even when they were introduced into a deer park, they never fully assimilated with the herd. They could nearly always be found to the side, away from the main group. The does bred and raised fawns perfectly well.
    The person involved with the raising found that goats milk with its higher fat content seemed to be the best to feed them on. It was just the getting them on it to start with that was the hard bit.
    I found a pair of Roe fawns one year that had clearly been orphaned. The mother had died just 50m from them at the bottom of a garden. I watched them for 3 days going up and down the field bleating before deciding to catch them. When I returned the next day I only ever found 1x. It died a couple of days later. I kicked myself for not having acted sooner, but the fawns could have been another does. I'm not even sure if they'd ever had their first feed.
    My opinion now is that for humane reasons orphan fawns that are still young and predominantly on milk should be put down as soon as possible. Still not a nice thing to be done, but I sleep with a clear conscience knowing I have prevented suffering.
    “Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”........Dalai Lama

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    I'm with Teyhan.

    I think it depends partly on the species. Roe have a history of capture myopathy, whereas fallow, red, etc seem more conducive to rearing by humans.

    I would find it hard to condemn anyone for shooting an orphaned fawn. Disney is fiction, not reality.

    If anyone starts to talk about Bambi I point them towards Felix Salten's other works and ask them if they also think that's a suitable basis for either animal husbandry or human morality
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    well done guys, good posts. Have seen a young roe fawn do fine but it was a collision stunned deer with a bit of size. Followers with a bit of growth are in a far better position to make it that grass fawns but all credit to someone who would try and save an orphan because it's a nightmare to care for them and often painful.

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