A rescued fawn curls up in a ball at the SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. (Contributed)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Every year the SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center receives tiny fawns mistakenly kidnapped from their attentive mothers. This is because fawns spend the majority of their time curled up in a ball alone, and may appear to be abandoned when this is a normal part of their growing process.

“Sadly, our community has already experienced tragic fawn fatalities due to people and dogs,” said SPCA Monterey County in a news release. “One doe went into premature labor after being chased by a dog, who then attacked the tiny newborn. The fawn did not survive. Another pregnant doe lost twins after being harassed. Both of these tragic situations took place in Pacific Grove.”

Mother deer leave their babies hidden and alone in a safe space during most of the day, often only visiting them during dawn and dusk. These fawns are not abandoned; the mother is likely out of sight watching them.

“If you find a fawn lying quietly in a curled up ball, leave it where it is, stay back and out of sight, and keep dogs as far away as possible,” SPCA said. “The mother will not return if she senses people or dogs are too close. A fawn lying quietly in a curled position on its stomach is not in need of rescue.”

Anyone worried that a fawn might be in distress, look for the following signs: labored breathing; walking and vocalizing for over an hour; blood; clearly broken bones; lying prone on its side (rather than curled or on its stomach); or a deceased mother on site.

If anyone sees these signs, do not rescue the fawn yourself. Call the SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center immediately at 831-264-5427. Once contacted, technicians will evaluate the situation and give you instructions on how to proceed.

“Do not attempt to rescue a fawn without the guidance of our technicians,” SPCA said. “Never bring a fawn into your home. Fawns are extremely sensitive to stress. The terror of being handled by humans and receiving any incorrect care or incorrect diet, even for just one day, severely decreases a fawn’s chances for survival and release.”

SPCA Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is the only full-service wildlife rehabilitation center serving Monterey County. To learn more or support SPCA’s lifesaving work, visit SPCAmc.org.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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