By Zoe Ashe-Jones
What’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your life? Well, take that and multiply it by 1000 to get the baby deer wandering around Riverside on May 23.
The deer, located in the grassy area between G and I hall, was seen stumbling around looking confused by multiple students.
“It was the cutest darn thing I’ve ever seen,” said senior Thomas Weaver, who participated in the rescue efforts. “It’s probably gonna die but it’s adorable.”
Students in classes on the second floor harrased the deer by spitting on it.
“What they did was despicable,” said senior Jude Wilson. “The baby deer was adorable and they were so mean to it.”
Environmental science teacher Emma Refvem picked up the deer and carried it into the woods.
“I called the state park and talked to one of my friends there,” said Refvem. “She said it was really sad but there’s nothing they can do about it.”
According to the Humane Society, the best thing to do is leave the fawn alone unless you know the mother is dead. The risky location of the deer and the attention from students is the reason Refvem decided to escort it back into the woods.
The fate of the fawn is unknown, but Riverside students and staff hope the mother will return to help her baby.
RALEIGH, N.C. (May 5) — Encounters with wild animals, particularly young wildlife such as fawns, become more frequent in the spring. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds people to enjoy wildlife with respect and caution when these encounters occur.
Handling, moving or feeding wildlife can harm or ultimately kill the animal and can create a risk for human safety. It is illegal to keep native mammals or birds in North Carolina without a permit.
“Some people believe that they should rescue young animals they find in the wild,” said Jessie Birckhead, the Commission’s extension biologist. “But touching or feeding wildlife can bring on many unintended consequences for both animals and humans, including the potential for conflicts.”
Many species, such as white-tailed deer, do not constantly stay with their young and only return to feed them. While a fawn might look abandoned and alone, it is actually waiting for its mother to return. Fawns are well equipped to protect themselves. A five-day-old fawn can outrun a human, and within a few weeks of birth, can escape most predators.
“Removing a fawn from the wild will decrease its chances of survival,” Birckhead said. “Fawns are naturally camouflaged and usually remain undetected by predators. The doe will return to the fawn several times a day to nurse and clean it, staying only a few minutes each time before leaving again to seek food.”
For more information on fawns in distress, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/HaveaProblem.aspx.