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A tale of two fawns

Orphaned fawns trigger neighbourhood effort

On June 2 a doe was hit on Pratt Road, leaving behind two fawns. This is their story and how a neighbourhood rallied together doing their best to save them.

On June 4 Anna Miller alerted the FYI Sunshine Coast Facebook Group about the fawns. That’s where I learned about them, just after one of them wobbled by my window. I thought the mom was around so wasn’t worried, but after reading the post, I contacted the Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre and they directed me to Anna. We went out looking and told my neighbour about them.

Roaming about, I told everyone I could about the fawns. Later that afternoon Anna called very excited. They found and captured fawn one, thanks to Carol Lodewijk. She had tossed a blanket on the small creature but it got away. Greg Cooney, out mowing his lawn, was able to divert the fawn away from the road. When Anna arrived, Team Fawn had grown to include Kathy and Trent Farrell, Susan Jane Hubbard Rule, Diane Henley, as well as Greg. Anna managed to get between the bars of a gate and into a yard with a six-foot-high fence. The rest of the team strung out along the gate and Anna scooped the fawn up and handed her to Greg. Anna found a way to get out of the yard and, along with Greg, delivered the fawn to the Rehab Centre.

What about fawn two? The next day, I was out looking again, when Greg told me that she had been spotted, so all day people searched the green belt on the north side of Malaview to no avail. Later, Anna and I sat on a log and played a doe calling her fawn. Not a peep.

We finally got the news that Becca McKinnon, Courtney Bertrand and her father, Bill Rafuse, found the fawn on their property on Hough Road, after hearing a strange noise. They went out and found the poor babe lying on the lawn, cold and weak. They whisked her off to the Rehab Centre where the ever-wonderful Irene Davy put her with her sibling on a heating pad, covered her with blanket and tried to revive her with electrolytes.

Sadly, fawn two passed away during the night, but at least she was with her sib and warm and loved. I know all of Team Fawn are hurting from this loss but we did our best, which is a comfort. And fawn number one is healthy and frisky and is going to go to the Langley centre by helicopter!

Things I learned about rescuing fawns:

1. They are faster than you think.

2. They are invisible when they lie down in the forest.

3. Bring a blanket, throw it on them and then quickly and gently grab them.

4. They are tough – the one that survived lived for two nights without food.

5. Goat’s milk is helpful.

6. Playing a recording of a doe calling her fawn may or may not work.

7. If you hit any wildlife, please call the non-emergency RCMP number – 604-885-2266. They will organize either the conservation officer if available or one of their officers to the scene to assist. If there are fawns, please call Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre at 604-886-4989.

Sadly, another doe was hit and killed on Pratt Road on June 6, also with two fawns. Rescued on June 8, they were flown to Critter Care in Langley. Please slow down and be on the lookout for deer and their babies. Being new to Gibsons, I was blown away by how people rallied around to save the fawns. You are such amazing people!