Fawn on the lawn

Jon Holcombe

Dec 1, 2015
Yesterday morning, I heard the very loud bleating of what sounded like a fawn at the front of my house. I ignored it but the bleating continued and got louder. I opened the front door and saw a red fox on my front walk. He saw me and trotted away, and I walked toward him, with my phone, trying to get a video. He ran over to my neighbors property and looked at me. I was puzzling over the sound I had heard (I know foxes can make human sounding cries) when the bleating cry sounded again, this time from under a boxwood near my front step. In the meantime the fox ran across the street.

I got down on my hands and knees and saw a tiny fawn hidden under the boxwood. I thought the mother had to be close, so I walked back inside the house and watched.

After a few minutes, the fox came trotting back from across the street, making a beeline for the fawn. Unsure of what to do, I walked outside, and saw the doe mother standing at the neighbors driveway, the fox was twenty yards from her. The fox ran away again and the doe ran into my backyard.

Since I had already, inadvertently interfered, I walked back into the house and scanned for the mom, but she had disappeared. I went back to work for a while and later looked out the window and saw the doe in the backyard. I walked out the front door, pulled the little fawn out realized that the fox had gotten a hold of her, hence the bleating. She had blood on her neck and head.

Now committed, I carried the fawn into my backyard and presented her to her mother, who promptly took off again. I left the fawn under a rhododendron for a few hours but the mother never returned.

Knowing the fawn was injured and unsure that the mother was going to return, I scooped him up and drove him to Woodford Wildlife Refuge in Medford.

In retrospect, had I understood the situation from the start, I would have allowed the fox to make the kill. The newborn fawn was adorable, but fox have to live too and there are a lot more deer than red foxes.
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