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With fawning season officially underway, spotting a deer with its newborn is a common sight around Victoria and across BC.
Just ask Terry Bergen, who, from a distance, captured a doe birthing a fawn in his Greater Victoria backyard last week and posted it to Twitter for all to see.
“Some backyard excitement when the kids got home from school today… A couple of new YYJ deer arrived,” wrote Bergen in his tweet.
“And here was the first little fawn, shortly after delivery (under the watchful eye of attending Dr. Crow).”
— Terry Bergen (@terry_bergen) May 27, 2022
Bergen’s sighting comes amid reminders from the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS), urging people not to disturb fawns spotted alone outside—because they’re often “very likely not abandoned.”
“Every year, the BCCOS receives calls from well-intentioned people trying to ‘rescue’ fawns they believe are orphaned, but interfering can cause more harm than good,” according to the service.
‘Don’t be a fawn-napper,’ warns BCCOS
While it’s understandable that fawns, or baby deer, are “cute and appear defenceless,” conservation officers say it’s common for deer to briefly abandon them as they search for food.
“Moving a fawn can result in it not being able to reunite with its mother, thus greatly reducing its chances of survival. Leaving newborn deer alone is the best thing you can do to help them,” the BCCOS said on Saturday.
But taking a young deer into your care is also illegal under the Wildlife Act, prompting fines for unlawful possession of live wildlife—in August 2020, a Cumberland resident was fined $345 for confining a fawn.
The BCCOS also asks people to keep their pets on a leash, as deer can become aggressive when protecting their young.
Anyone concerned a fawn may be injured or abandoned is asked to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 (877) 952-7277.