“Kidnapped” fawns are being mistaken for orphans

As predictable as spring cleaning, the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation has logged its first case of a “kidnapped” fawn this year.

The Madden-based group said it admitted its first baby deer last week after someone scooped up the newborn assuming it was an orphan.

But it wasn’t. It was just waiting for its mother to return.

Mother deers will leave their fawns alone for up to six hours, according to AIWC. It’s done on purpose so the fawn won’t be found by predators, such as coyotes, wolves or dogs.

While fawns are born without a scent — another secret weapon from predators — their mothers have a very strong scent. So, they will leave their babies hidden and lure predators away.

The “kidnapped” fawn was the victim of a well-intentioned human. Photo: AIWC

“Thankfully, we were able to reunite the fawn with her mother, but with fawns being born throughout the province, it is time to remind Albertans that if they see a fawn, to leave him/her there!,” the group explained.

So, if you see one curled up in some grass. Just leave it there.

“Mothers will not reject their young if there is human scent on them, but you should still leave any fawns exactly where you found them unless they are directly in harm’s way (e.g., near a busy road),” AIWC added.

And, if you do pick one up and then realize you should put it back, the facility advises gently rubbing the fawn with grass.

One lucky fawn. Photo: AIWC

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