journey of orphaned fawns rescued by Secret World carers
very special orphans have been given a second chance thanks to
the work of a wildlife charity's carers near Burnham-On-Sea.
two fallow fawns were rescued separately in the summer and were
brought to Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill where
they have been hand-reared by dedicated Animal Carer Josie Nott,
and have just taken their first steps towards life back in the
wild this month.
are usually a chestnut brown colour with white spots but
the two friends, named Devon and Angus, are rather unusual.
is an 'erythristic' fallow which means her fur has a reddish pigmentation.
The ginger fawn was rescued after her mother was tragically killed
by dogs. She was first cared for at Blueberry Warren animal rescue
in Devon, and then moved to Secret World where there are specialist
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "When I first saw her, little Devon
was so skinny I didnt think shed survive."
joined Angus, a fellow fallow who was discovered a few days before,
abandoned in a ditch with steep banks. Sadly his mother did not
return, so he was rescued by the RSPCA who brought him to Secret
World. He was just four days old.
is a 'melanistic' fallow. This is a more common colour variant
than Devons and gives his fur a much darker colour than
most others of his species. Like his ginger friend, the characteristic
white spots on Angus back are far less obvious.
Secret World, the two orphans could mix with other rescued fawns.
"Its really important that they have company,"
added Josie, "since they are difficult to rear and they do
much better together."
and Devon needed a lot of time and attention. "At first I
was feeding them every couple of hours, day and night, with a
lamb milk replacement," said Josie.
also had browse right from the start thats natural
vegetation they would eat in the wild, like willow and rose
and grated apple."
might be surprised to know that we gave them a bowl of soil too!
In the wild they eat soil from very young, for the minerals. After
a few weeks we moved them to a secure outdoor enclosure, and they
stopped bottle feeding at around three months old as I gradually
increased their solid food."
added: "I live on site at Secret World so I was able to give
them the care and attention they needed. Its important to
have a close bond with them and develop trust, so I was their
main carer although I have had some help! Fallow fawns follow
their mothers everywhere, so they tended to follow me around when
I was in their pen. This does mean they could feel a bit stressed
when I left them, as they are not used to being left alone in
fawns have needed regular veterinary checks and have been closely
monitored. Any changes to their care are made gradually, as sudden
changes in their diet or environment can cause them stress and
sickness. This means only those with specialist knowledge and
facilities should attempt to rescue and care for orphaned fawns.
are big differences between how different deer species care for
their young, and not every case is the same," said Josie.
example, roe fawns are sometimes left alone by their mothers who
will return later. We encourage anyone who finds a fawn alone
to call us for advice as we have specialist experience and knowledge
and can give you advice."
the fawns were almost four months old it was time for Josie to
say goodbye. "Our aim at Secret World is always to return
rescued orphans back to the wild as soon as they are big enough,"
found a wonderful site for them where they have the run of a large
wooded paddock. The landowners are fawn experts, and they have
other rescued fawns for Devon and Angus to socialise with."
is a 'soft release', which means that the fawns will spend time
in this larger enclosure for a few months until they are big enough,
then the fence will be removed and they will be free at last!"
landowners will continue to leave food for the fawns for a while,
so they are supported while they learn to make their own way in
day the fawns went to their new home was truly special for Josie.
She told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This is why we wildlife rescuers
do what we do. All the hard work and sleepless nights have been
worth it to see Angus and Devon take this big step towards life
in the wild where they belong. Im so proud of them!"