Animal Photos - Index
228. Roadside Fawn Rescue

227. Shark Punched
229. Wylee and Widget

Fawns delivered in roadside rescue

John Polson delivered a happy ending from a sad situation Saturday when he saved the lives of two unborn fawns from a dead doe in an impromptu emergency operation in a ditch. Polson, who is a wildlife biologist, performed the delivery of two healthy, full-term fawns from a deer that had been hit by a car overnight and left to die by the side of the road.

At about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Polson was working at his bee operation on his farm east of Dundurn when he noticed a deer standing by the side of the road. He didn't think twice about it until he came back at about 4 p.m. and it hadn't moved.

'I went over and noticed the blood all over her legs, and realized she'd been hit by a car the night before,' said Polson.

He could tell the deer was unable to walk and was in pain, so he decided to put the doe out of its misery before the coyotes found her. As he walked away from the dead deer, Polson says he realized she was likely pregnant, as this is the season does generally give birth. He says it is not possible to tell if a doe is pregnant only by looking.

He went over to the deer, laid down some burlap and using a knife, opened the deer's womb to discover a healthy, full-term fawn inside. Polson cleaned the fawn using the burlap and allowed it to lay down on the grass. Within a few minutes, it was walking around, so he brought it to his truck and turned up the heat.

It was then Polson had another realization.

'I thought to myself, 'She was probably carrying twins,' ' he said, adding does often carry two babies if the winter has been mild.

Sure enough, Polson went back and found another fawn inside the womb. The doe had been carrying one female and one male.

After phoning his wife Alverta to inform her of the surprise company, Polson drove back to his home in Saskatoon .

Only an hour after they were born, Polson said the fawns were 'getting pretty lively,' walking around and exploring the basement.

The couple have been keeping the fawns in their basement bathroom and living room this week.

The Polsons have purchased deer formula, containing colostrum, a type of milk that helps protect newborn animals against infection. They have been feeding the fawns every three to four hours.

Polson says the fawns have been eating well and have grown noticeably, their size now being comparable to that of a large cat. The female fawn is the stronger of the two, Polson says, and can walk around on the hardwood floor, while her brother can only walk on carpet. And like most siblings, they don't always get along -- Polson says they usually spend time apart by sleeping separately.

'The male's a little sucker, he sleeps on the blanket all the time,' he said, while his sister sleeps under the table.

The fawns have even made a friend in one of the Polsons' cats, who has taken an interest in her new roommates and allows them to play with her.

But the Polsons are not letting the fawns get too comfortable -- they purposely decided not to name them because they will not be staying long.

They have arranged for the fawns to be taken to a Ministry of Environment- approved wildlife rehabilitation facility.

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