People often mistakenly assume that a fawn (baby deer) found alone is orphaned. If the fawn is lying down calmly and quietly, their mother is nearby and they are OK. A doe only visits and nurses their fawn a few times a day to avoid attracting predators. Unless you know that the mother is dead, leave the fawn alone.

Although mother deer are wary of human smells, they still want their babies back. If you already handled the fawn, quickly return the fawn to the exact spot where you found them and leave the area; the mother deer will not show herself until you are gone.

If the fawn is lying on their side or wandering and crying incessantly all day, they probably need help. If this is the case, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

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Why they are important

White-tailed deer fill the niche, or role, in ecosystems of both herbivore and prey. They are affected by, and themselves affect, their ecosystem. In forests, they have been described as a "keystone species" because their feeding activity can directly and indirectly affect many plants and animals.

Interesting Facts

- Deer can jump up to 10ft high and are very good swimmers
- Deer can have a homeland range which can span 30 miles. They move about depending on food availability
- A fawn can normally walk within half an hour of being born. Fawns do not have a smell, helping them avoid predators
- All species of deer have a four chamber stomach which allows them to chew the cud. This is a processes of partially chewing food, regurgitating it, and chewing it again to make it easier to digest
- When most deer are born, they have white spots which disappear as they mature. The spots help fawns to blend into their background, acting as camouflage
- There are over 60 different species of deer worldwide. Deer are present on all continents except Antarctica.