Main content

Abandoned fawn? Think twice

Springwatch Guest Blog

Guest blogger: Katie Barlow, The Deer Initiative

You are on a lovely country side walk when you spot a very young deer, on its own, looking defenceless. It seems scared and still. Best thing to do? Leave it be.

This is perfectly normal and the youngster is at its safest where it is. We as humans may not agree that ‘abandoning’ your baby is safe, however, to deer this is an instinctive form of protection and mum will be nearby.

A muntjac deer fawn by Jamie Cordery, The Deer Initiative

Deer give birth from late April and into July. Both non-native species, such as muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) and native species, such as red deer (Cervus elaphus) often leave their young alone from an early age while the mother eats and then returns occasionally to feed them.

Young red deer copyright Rob Moon, BDS Image Library

So if you are lucky enough this spring and summer to see a young deer just remember, although it is very tempting to get as close as possible, it is best to view them from a distance. This will allow the mother to find her youngster easily and the wildlife stays wild.

Young sika deer by Jochen Langbein

More information about best practise around wild deer on the Deer Initiative website.

More Posts


The Big Pond Dip


Springwatch Macro Quiz