It's Fawn Season, and if our rehabilitation center was open to the public, you could walk in and already see the 7 beautiful fawns currently in treatment. Every year, our center sees about 15-20 orphaned, injured fawns.
Fawns require specialized (and expensive) formula and strict monitoring of their diet. They must be raised with others of their kind to limit stress and learn to socialize with each other for their best chance of survival. The only deer we see at The Wildlife Center of Southwest Florida are white-tailed deer. They could be admitted for several reasons: either the mother or the fawn was hit by a car, they were caught in a fence, or attacked by a dog.
The Challenges We Face
All of the animals treated at or wildlife center bring on their own unique challenges, and fawns are no different. Often, individuals with good intentions remove fawns from the wild by mistakenly assuming them to be abandoned. A mother can leave the fawn for hours at a time to feed, and will return periodically to nurse. If you find a fawn, leave it where it is and check on it the next day. If the fawn is still there, crying loudly, appears thin or injured, please contact your nearest wildlife rescue center.
Challenges While In Treatment
- Fawns have sensitive guts, which means their diet must be closely monitored. They are ruminants evolving into eating plant-based diet. An improper diet can cause diarrhea or bloat.
- Deer can suffer from capture myopathy, a disease in which muscle damage is resulted from extreme exertion, struggle, or stress. As this syndrome can be fatal, stress must be limited after capture as much as possible.
- They must be cared for in a manner to prevent imprinting, which is when they identify better with humans instead of their own kind.
- Deer graze throughout the day, so they consume a LOT of food such as hay and greens.
- Deer have four chambers in their stomach. Fawn develop their chamber function as they get older. How we position them is important to avoid introducing milk in an undeveloped chamber.
Cost Of Their Care
Cost of care varies because injuries cost much more than simply raising an orphan. On average, caring for a fawn with a fracture can cost around $1,500, and caring for an orphan without injuries can cost as much as $700.
The amount of time each fawn spends at our rehabilitation center can vary depending on the reason they are here. Injured ones stay until their injury is healed, and healthy orphans are assessed for release a few weeks after weaning. We also pay attention weather and hunting season when making release decisions.
How You Can Help
The best way to help is by making a monetary donation, donating your time by volunteering, or donating the much-needed supplies.
A Fawn-Tastic Supply Wish List:
Purina Antler Max
Rehabilitation of wildlife is a skilled profession for which state and federal permits are required. If you do not have such permits, you should NEVER try to rehabilitate wildlife on your own. If you come across an injured fawn or another animal, please call our center at 941-484-9657, or our after-hours emergency line at 941-416-4967.
We would like to thank you in advance if you decide to support our Fawn-Tastic Campaign in any way that you can. Due to the amount of in-kind donations we receive, every $1 donation goes FIVE times as far. Your gift is the life-saving difference to the fawns in our care, and without your support, we would not be able to do what we do.