Special Lunch Guests

By Kate MacNeil
Education Coordinator, Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre – www.wildlifeinfo.ca
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The spring of 2000 was a record year for the number of fawns we received at the Centre. Due to the special requirements of fawns and the limited space at the Wildlife Centre they normally went to a foster volunteer as soon as they were stabilized.

But, in 2000, we had 2 fawns that spent over a week at the Centre while receiving medical treatment.

The first arrival was a male that came back from foster care because he was not eating and was lethargic. He weighed just under 10 lbs. Due to lack of space, we had to get creative. The fawn spent his first night at the Centre in a large dog crate in an office. While he settled in we got busy rearranging and moving animals and erecting an 8ft x 6ft cage that would accommodate him.

Before we knew it, a second fawn arrived, another little male that weighed about 13lbs. He had an eye injury that needed attention. Another cage was set up across from the first.

Although their cages were large enough to house them temporarily, they still needed exercise.

We accomplished this by letting them stretch their legs in the library after their bottle feedings. They would take turns chasing each other, almost as if they were playing tag, they would even chase each other around our conference table. When they would stop suddenly they would slide on the carpet, we called this the Bambi on ice manoeuvre. They also seemed to enjoy their visits with the squirrels who were caged in the library, sniffing around almost as if to say hello.

Before we knew it, both fawns had recovered and were brought to the foster family for the remainder of their care. We were lucky to have an exceptional fawn foster volunteer. The property had barns for the fawns and a large fenced area that encompassed a meadow as well as forest area.

I was fortunate to be able to visit the fawns in their new home prior to their release. As amusing as it was to see them running around the library, it did not hold a candle to the sight of them running around the meadow. This was where they belonged. So although lunchtime was not quite the same without them, we knew they had moved on to better things.

Remember, this is the wildlife birthing season. If you have an animal around your home or garden, please be patient, as it no doubt has young nearby. See www.wildlifeinfo.ca for detailed information.

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