By Andru McCracken
Recently Anna Christison and her friend got a surprise. A doe was up on the porch, just inches from the glass door.
“It just didn’t make sense to us…” said Anna.
The next day Anna found out why. She found a fawn was hiding under a rose bush.
Two days before, Anna was weeding the garden when she noticed little footprints in the fresh soil, without giving it a thought she patched a hole in the fence and carried on.
Later she would realize she had sealed a young fawn in and its mother out. For two days.
“I went behind the rose bushes and that’s when I saw him in a little hole curled up,” she said.
Anna and her husband John, who live outside McBride on Museum Road, are vegans and they’re not fond of animal suffering. When they found it, John moved the fawn outside the fenced compound in the hopes it would reunite with its mother, weak though it was.
Anna had some doubts about the location, when she checked on the fawn she found it unmoving upside down.
The little deer was in tough shape so they contacted their friend Phyllis Krueger who raises sheep to borrow a bottle and nipple. They would have left for their place in Dunster if they hadn’t been waiting for a call back from the conservation service. The fawn had a strong advocate standing by. They nursed the fawn until it was responsive… then the mom showed up.
Any doubt that the mother would take in her fawn vanished when the doe turned up at 6 pm.
“She laid down and showed us, ‘Look, here is my udder. That’s my baby,’” said Krueger. “As soon as she saw the baby she got up there was definitely communication between the two of them.”
The doe appeared to be showing them her swollen teets.
Their friend Phyllis carefully let the fawn loose.
“He just bee-lined to her,” said Krueger. “She accepted him and smelled him all around.”
The doe and fawn went on their way.
Anna noted that all of the people that handled the doe were vegan, suggesting that could have been a part of the positive outcome.
The BC Conservation Office has clear advice for anyone thinking of handling a fawn: Don’t. They recently fined a man $345 for picking up a baby deer from the side of the road. The man had imagined that the baby was abandoned and brought it with him to a liquor store among other locations claiming he was enroute to a wildlife shelter.
“Newborn ungulates are arriving across B.C. You may encounter one yourself. Often newborns are found alone as the mother is off feeding. Fawns can be left on their own for 24 hrs. Do not pick them up. If you do, likely the newborn is not being rescued, it is being abducted.” – BC Conservation Officer Service.