Park Rangers: Leave Fawn Along Trails Alone

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SACRAMENTO -- Over Memorial Day weekend, the Sacramento County parks department says it received about 10 calls from people believing they saw an injured or abandoned fawn along the American River Parkway.

In some cases, park rangers say people have picked up the fawn in an attempt to take care of it while waiting for county officials to respond.

"Many of the calls were from people who are new to the area," Sacramento County Chief Park Ranger Michael Doane said. "People who have used the parkway and the trails for years know it's a common occurrence to see the fawn and know to leave them alone."

Diane Nicholas has run the Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue in Loomis for the past 12 years.

Nicholas says the reason fawns seem abandoned is because up until they are a month old fawns do not have a scent, but mom does, so if mom is close to her baby she could draw in predators.

Nicholas says she has eight fawns at her sanctuary because of actual cases of injured or abandoned deer, often from an animal attack or because the mother was somehow killed.

"So she will bed away, about 100 yards away, watching her fawn the whole time, and if I were to go pick up the fawn and it screamed, she would come bolting after me," Nicholas said.

She adds that it is a misconception that a mother won't take her baby back if she smells a human scent on her fawn.

"I was told that too, but that's not true," she said.

If you spot a fawn and don't know if it needs help, Nicholas says come back hours later to see if it's still there, normally it won't be, she said.

Nicholas has a 24 hour hotline: (530) 889-5822.

You can also learn more by visiting The Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue website.