CLAREMORE, Okla. — Orphaned fawns are overwhelming a Green Country animal rescue.
Some deer lose their mothers to tragic accidents. Others are separated because people take the fawns believing they are injured when they are not.
Attendance inside the fawn nursery at Wild Heart Ranch in Claremore is at 17 and growing.
“The leg’s not broken. It’s not dislocated. That’s the good news,” Annette King said as she inspected her eighteenth intake.
The new addition came from Collinsville. It was found Friday afternoon by George Williams, tangled in a tomato cage.
“I was out getting some tomato cages moved out of the way,” he said. “I happened to glance down and saw this little fella sitting there. I thought, ‘Well, that’s cute,’ and it dawned on me. That’s real! We see them walking back there all the time. Then, I saw the baby and I thought, ‘We got to get it help.’”
In this case, there was an emergency. Most others are not.
“Our goal is to take what needs us and avoid taking what doesn’t and make sure babies are given back to their moms,” King said.
Wild Heart Ranch is called every day by people reporting what seem like abandoned deer.
“Had we taken every fawn that was called in, we’d have close to 100,” said King.
One clue to watch for are curled ears.
“If the ears are curling like a flower that’s about to wilt, that means it’s dehydrated, and something possibly happened to the mother,” said Asgeir Berge, Wild Heart Ranch volunteer.
Another sign of danger are clusters of ticks around the eyes. That could mean blindness.
“We’ll get fawns that have tens of thousands of ticks on them,” King said. “It’s really bad.”
Wild Heart will continue to get deer calls through August. They spend thousands of dollars on care and work hard not to take in the ones that do not need help.
“If the fawn looks healthy, otherwise, and the ears are nice and pointed, there’s nothing they need to do, so long as there’s not an obvious dead mother. They just need to back away and leave the fawn alone and mom will come to claim her baby,” King said.
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