|Two day-old mule deer fawns after their rescue.|
I learned yesterday that the smaller fawn, the little male seen here being fed from a syringe on the day he arrived, had gone into a sudden decline and died.
His caretakers were a married couple, both retired schoolteachers, and yesterday she wrote,
[Tuesday] morning he didn't want his bottle, and that was very strange. I noticed he had a very runny stool and then it turned to blood. He made it through the day quite comfortably and I had some hope Last night when everyone left for the night I kept him in the shelter, knowing that if I didn't he would have a very miserable death out in the snow. The little guy never got to see the snow. I slept in the shelter with him til about eleven and then went inside. This morning I found him in his favorite corner in the fresh straw.You have to be emotionally strong to do that job year after year. Yes, maybe this fawn was too undeveloped, being the smaller of the two survivors. Yet I had seen him just a week ago, running around the pasture and looking OK.
It is even worse at the Raptor Center, I know, where only something like 25-30 percent of the birds brought (if that) survive. Like the great horned owl that I picked up in September—it was alive and feisty, but a wing was shattered beyond repair—probably from a power line collision—and the director decided to put it down.
They have a couple of one-winged birds in captivity, but those birds never can get around well, and the protocol nowadays is to euthanize them.