02. October 2010 · Comments Off on Graduation of the Fawns of 2010 · Categories: Uncategorized

Our first fawn of the year came to us a day after a young buck was shot by the Police here in Oakland. This fawn was only a few days old. His hooves were still soft, his ears still floppy. He was running down International Avenue at 42nd in the heart of Oakland. He was crying as he followed a couple walking down the street. When they turned up 42nd Ave, he followed them. When they stopped to talk with two women loading a moving van, he ran up and caught the hearts of the women movers. One of them went inside, found our phone number and brought the little fawn to us. It was 11pm when they arrived. This fawn, whom we called “Rono” from the story of Bambi, was very thin. Something must have happened to his mother for him to be this thin. He spent his first night here wrapped in a warm blanket, on a heating pad, his belly full of warm fawn formula.

It was 2 weeks later when we got the call from WildCare, the wildlife rehabilitation center in Marin we work with to rehabilitate orphaned fawns. They had just received a little 3 day old female who had been found on a construction site. Her mother had been chased off by workers and there was no safe place for the fawn to be placed so she could be reunited with her mother.  She came into care and nuzzled happily up to Rono. We called her Rowena.

It was two weeks later that the last of the Fawn Graduates of 2010 arrived. He was older and therefore more aware and wary of us humans. We called him Olaf or Oli for short. He was found running up a busy highway. The finders had placed him down the hillside away from traffic in the hopes he could be reunited with his mother, but hours later, when they drove past to check he was back up playing in traffic again. They saved his life by bringing him in. He had been starving and would have been hit by a car.

Volunteers collected fresh fruit tree branches daily to provide natural food forage for the fawns


For the next few months they frolicked and played in our fawn pen, nursing from the bottle 2-3 times a day, learning about leaves, branches, fruits and veggies and listening to the coyotes howl at night as they hunkered down and froze. Life Lessons that would be useful once they were free.

Volunteers Shima and Richard carry the fawns up the hill from their pen to the van for transport to Bambi Bootcamp.


Once weaned, they moved to Bambi Boot-Camp, with our wonderful volunteer, Stacy who runs the Greener Pastures Equine Care Facility. Here, in a giant fruit orchard, they grew up, lost their spots, but not their innocence.

Exploring their new enclosure

Ooooo Pears!

...and all the comforts of Home at the Wildlife Center: Organic Fruit Salad!

Wow - Look at our new digs

Look at our new Pet Human!


Over the months, Stacy and her family cared for them by providing them a safe place, clean water and good food. Stacy watched them frolic and play, bounding over one another, chasing each other thru the Orchard, sleeping in a pile under the trees, standing on their hind legs and eating leaves, and watching the fence line for their nightly visitors – the older adult wild deer who would visit, no doubt to share stories about life in the wild and to offer words of warning.

Well, now they too are free to roam the hills.

Stacy says they are staying in a group together. She sees them at dusk and dawn roaming the hills above her home.

We will post updates on their transition as we learn more.

Although there were many other fawns who came to us in 2010, these three were the strong survivors. The others were too injured, too starved, too sick to survive, despite our attempts to save them. Thank you to all of our volunteers who spent late nights holding ill newborn fawns, dripping water into their mouths or just comforting them as they succumbed. In the name of those who did not survive, we tell the story of those who did.

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