Banks, News, Wildlife

Banks Fire tends to injured fawn

A fawn struck and injured by a car was taken to the Banks Fire District where firefighters put their medical training, usually used on humans, to use to splint the baby deer’s severely broken leg.

“Banks Fire crews regularly treat patients of all shapes and sizes. Less common is our opportunity to work on those of another species,” said Banks Fire spokesperson Scott Adams.

According to Adams, the young fawn was struck Thursday afternoon and another person was flagged down to help.

“Not knowing what else to do, that Good Samaritan brought this patient to us,” Adams said. “She had a severely broken leg which our crews splinted and then they checked her out for any other injuries and found only scratches.”

Adams said the fawn was taken to a wildlife animal rescue “where she will be nurtured back to health.”

Adams urged motorists to watch for wildlife, noting that it is currently fawn season.

As for finding a fawn or calf in the woods that hasn’t been struck by a car, well, ’tis the season for that, too.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Oregon’s deer and elk give birth from May through July, and it’s not uncommon to find a deer fawn or an elk calf that appears to be alone.

“It’s natural for mother animals to leave their young alone and hidden for extended periods of time while they go off to feed, so never assume a young animal is orphaned when you see it alone,” ODF&W said.

“The mother will return when it’s safe to do so—when people, pets or predators aren’t around,” ODF&W said.

Removing such an animal from the wild is not the right move. In fact, you might fall afoul of Oregon’s wildlife laws if you disturb a wild animal.

“When people remove them from the wild, young animals miss the chance to learn where to seek cover, what to eat and how to escape from predators and other dangers. The time young animals spend with their parents and in their natural environment is crucial for the development of survival skills long term,” ODF&W said.

“Fawns are sometimes mistakenly picked up by humans with good intentions, a problem that almost immediately reduces their chances of survival to zero. The doe has put half a year of intense effort into reproducing and will go to great lengths to find her fawn, often searching the area in a grid pattern. Please, leave fawns where they are,” the state agency said.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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