LAKE COUNTRY, B.C. — Like a scene out of Bambi, a baby fawn born in Oyama was left to fend for herself after her mother passed away Tuesday morning.
Just hours old, baby Jane Doe was found in a cherry orchard with her deceased mother located nearby.
There’s no confirmation on how the mother deer died, but it’s speculated she may have been hit by a car, or passed away during a traumatic labour.
Baby Jane was taken to the Tri Lake Animal Hospital in Lake Country by an official from the Okanagan Humane Society.
Hospital staff are feeding her goat milk and nutrients to nourish the young fawn. So far she is responding well and has gained a bit of weight since coming into the vet office.
But Jane isn’t out of to woods yet. She is fighting a genetic defect in her urinary system called patent urachus.
“When the fetus is in the womb any urine created is passed via the umbilical cord into the mothers urinary system. At birth this link is supposed to close off and the urine…is rerouted to the young’s urethra,” says Tri Lake Animal Hospital administrator, Cara Reed.
“Patent urachus is where the original connection has not closed off so she still has urine coming from her belly button.”
Jane may have to undergo surgery if the connection does not close naturally, but that is still up in the air.
Also up in the air is what’s next for Jane’s rehabilitation.
The hospital has put a request into the B.C. Wildlife Branch in Vancouver to see if it can take her in, but late Wednesday afternoon learned that request was denied.
Now the hospital is reaching out to branch’s in Kamloops and possibly Vancouver Island or Calgary to take her in, but there are no guarantees.
The hope is that she will be weaned off human help and set free into the wild.
While bringing Jane to the hospital was no doubt the right decision as the young fawn would have died otherwise, conservation officers warn you shouldn’t simply pick up what appears to be an abandoned fawn, because you’ll likely do more harm than good.
Officials say this case is special, since the mother deer was found dead, but in most cases doe’s will leave their young for hours on end unattended, foraging for food, but they do come back. If you touch the young fawn, chances are it will be rejected by its mother.
If you do see what you believe is an abandoned baby deer, you’re asked to monitor the area, and if the mother does not come back in 24 hours, call the authorities. Do not approach the fawn yourself.
You can contact the Okanagan Conservation Officer service at (877) 356-2029.