Late Night Rescue of Fawn

On Tuesday night, May 23rd, a volunteer from Innisfil got a call about a doe that was fatally killed by several vehicles hitting her on Innisfil Beach road. A witness said that she believes she saw one to two fawns fleeing the scene. 

She called for some reinforcements to locate the infants as the street is incredibly busy and the babies would likely go closer to the road as they became more hungry. So, an extensive ground search began for the fawn(s). This was a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack as it was essentially swamp covered in dense brush. The babies likely wouldn’t be far from mom but they would be very scared and lying perfectly still. 

After about an hour of hiking through the swamp, one the search party found this little guy. As you can tell by the smile on her face, this was a relief to us all. They searched about another hour before decided this boy needed to get off the busy street and to a quiet place. 

Over the next few days, they returned to the site several times to look for the second fawn. The witness was not sure if there was in fact two, but if there was a second the baby wouldn’t be far. 

An extensive search was done and another fawn was not found. However, one of the volunteers discovered another nursing doe in the area while playing a fawn distress call. Our belief is that there was only one fawn, but if there was in fact two, this other doe would adopt it. 

We are a volunteer run organization. We do not have the resources to do animal rescue work. However, in this case we did what was needed to secure this boy’s future. 

Now named Gideon, this little guy is now safe at Procyon Wildlife and has a new brother to keep him company. He has calmed considerably since his first few days and is now readily accepting the bottle. We are so beyond humbled to have been able to ensure he will he will get the life he deserves!

Our first fawn of the season

Our first fawn of the year enjoying his outdoor time. This little guy came in last week after being found lying on his side, cold and lethargic at the side of the road. He is responding well to treatment and his hydration has improved. 

How he is pictured here is actually a perfect example of a fawn that DOES NOT need help. If you find a fawn peacefully curled up and quiet, it is extremely likely mom is nearby. 

Fawns do not have a scent so they are well camouflaged from predators. Their mother however, does have a scent so she stays away to protect her baby. She returns several times per day only to feed while the baby is too young to walk long distances. 

If you find a fawn that is lying on its side, is crying loudly, is approaching humans or has ears that curl at the ends, this baby may be orphaned and in need of help. 

We know they are adorable but please do not interact with fawns if you find a healthy one. They imprint very easily and acclimating them to human voice, touch or smell can be extremely dangerous to their future. 

At Procyon Wildlife, all fawn handlers are required to wear a gown to cover scent of clothing, a mask to shield the face and must refrain from talking around the fawn. As we must feed them by bottle, they are susceptible to imprinting so we must be diligent to avoid this. 

This young guy will be with us for the remaining of the summer and will be released at the end of hunting season. Our hope is he will have at least one companion to ensure he gets the proper socialization for his rehabilitation. 

This photo was captured with a zoom camera.

Fear Not

Article by Elizabeth Trickey and photos by Jen Howard

EEK, a spider!  Yes, so many people suffer from arachnophobia.  It is an irrational fear.  Humans are thousands of times bigger, yet so many people are frightened of the wee creatures!  Strangely enough, a good number of humans don’t seem to fear much larger critters, ones that can really do serious harm.

We all love to see wild animals.  And they are often closer than you realize.  What with urbanization taking over wildlife habitats, we are encountering more animals than ever before.  In some respects, it’s exciting!  Cameras come out, and people move in closer for that perfect photo.  And it doesn’t always end well…

Many critters are attractive, with fluffy fur and adorable eyes.  The younger the animal, the cuter.  We all grew up with our favourite stuffies, often teddy bears.  It is surprising, though, when bears, bison, or moose are seen near a road, cars stop, and people hop out to get a good close-up!  What are they thinking??  They aren’t stuffed animals!

Should we fear these large critters?  No, not at all.  They are living in their natural habitat, spending their time foraging for food.  And frankly, humans are probably not very tasty. These animals will protect themselves, but other than that, they will mind their own business.  If critters hear or smell humans, they will avoid them.  No, definitely no need to fear.  It’s respect that’s needed.  I leave you alone, and you leave me alone.  Mutual respect. 

What about the smaller mammals that we see on a more regular basis?  Raccoons, squirrels, foxes, skunks, rabbits – they will also keep their distance from humans.  They don’t need hand-outs from us to survive because nature provides to all animals.  They learn to forage for food at a young age, and there is plenty to eat in the wild.  Several of these species can carry serious diseases, like worms, distemper and rabies.  Now that can be fearsome!  However, it is still a matter of respect.  We need to respect their ability to fend for themselves, and not leave food out for them.  Sure, we do enjoy seeing them and watching their antics, but the food we might leave for birds or chipmunks can just as easily be eaten by larger critters that we don’t want hanging around our properties, waiting for the next meal.

Sign from
Read sign to end for advice on Wile E. Coyote.

In the last year, there have been several reports of coyote attacks, with the result being that authorities have killed those animals.  Now, understandably, many people are frightened by coyotes.  How did this happen?  Historically, coyotes rarely bothered people, and there has only ever been one documented case in Canada of a coyote killing someone.  So what has changed?  Experts say that it is because these animals are becoming habituated.  People are feeding them, whether deliberately or by leaving out garbage, and coyotes have learned that humans provide great take-out food. 

Let’s make a concerted effort to respect our wildlife. Give them space, and let nature take care of them.