In early May of this year a fawn was dropped off at another wildlife center that did not rehabilitate fawns. This facility called me immediately and told me of this fawn's precarious circumstances. A seven pound fawn, female, had been found on the West Sierra off-ramp on Highway 101. Under normal conditions this is a very dangerous place for a fawn but during this time there were added dangers because there was construction taking place as well.
That was no place for a vulnerable little fawn. I picked her up at once and put her in with the other fawns at our intake pen. The next day was a busy one. Two fawns came in that morning. Then in the evening as I was just thinking of sitting down a call came from a man in Sonoma. He had picked up a fawn on 101 that afternoon and wanted to pass it to me. I rushed back down to Santa Rosa to meet him. The man had the small buck in a carrier in the back of his truck. The man relayed to me the story of how he came to find this animal. He had been working on the highway construction on 101 at the same off-ramp! He noticed a dead doe on the shoulder. Later on he saw a fawn jump away from the doe into the nearby grass. He scrambled and managed to catch this wild young creature. He knew just who to call. I thought this must be the little doe's twin! I was sure there would not be two families of deer living on the same off ramp. I was not sure though how I would be able to verify this theory. Twin fawns often look very different.
|It had been a long day so after offering him a bottle, I placed the new buck in with the other six fawns I had waiting in the rehabilitation pen. I went to bed exhausted and satisfied with a full day's work. In the morning I eagerly brought down seven bottles for the seven babies. As I rounded the corner I could see five fawns inside the shed huddled down on the blankets. "Five", I thought "where are the other two"? Behind the shed I found the two, the little doe and new buck were tightly curled together taking comfort in one another.
That is confirmation enough for me that these two are twins. I was so relieved that even though they lost their mother they were able to be re-united with each other. They were able to grow up together and were released together along with two other fawns from our Bodega pen earlier this month. The doe would not have chosen a place she knew to be unsafe to raise her fawns. But with growth and development wildlife has fewer choices in where to live. I am glad that these two fawns, instead of growing up in the vicinity near a freeway off ramp construction zone, were released into a much safer, wilder area of this lovely county we all call home.
Photos by Bill Fink