MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A 2-week-old deer rescued by a Mount Pleasant police officer is alert and active after being found alone in residential area Tuesday.
The fawn was spotted by a homeowner in Hamlin Plantation who told police it had been there for about two days with no sign of its mother anywhere, according to the Mount Pleasant Police Department's Facebook page.
Police say an officer was able to collect the fawn and take it to Mount Pleasant Veterinary Specialty Care. The veterinary technicians have been providing around the clock care to the little guy, including feeding him goat's milk from a bottle every four hours.
A photo of the fawn with his rescuer, Pfc. Odom, went wild on social media Tuesday after being posted on the police department's Facebook page.
The male fawn was transferred Wednesday to the care of Keeper of the Wild Wildlife Rescue, a South Carolina non-profit specializing in the rehabilitation of wildlife animals.
Janet Kinser, who works for the non-profit, says that although the person who came across the seemingly abandoned deer was being a good Samaritan, it is likely that the fawn was not orphaned at the time of rescue.
"There are so many wonderful people out there with a good heart, and they want to get the babies and get them some help when they see that tiny innocent animal laying by itself. But in the cases of the fawns, many times they are not orphaned," said Kinser.
The wildlife recovery expert said often times the fawns are too little to keep up with the herd, so the mothers will put them someplace while they go off and find food, only to later return and provide care.
Kinser says there are signs that point to whether or not a fawn was orphaned, such as acting like it is in distress, running and crying, or laying on its side.
"But if that baby is really content, laying there very quiet and calm, then more than likely the mom has come back and the good Samaritan just has not seen the momma," she said.
When it comes to this rescue, Kinser says the people who found the fawn did the right thing by calling the authorities to recover the lonely deer, rather than trying to save it themselves.
While in the care of Keeper of the Wild, the 2-week-old fawn will join other rescued fawns so they can bond together, rather than become humanized. The will also be fed from a trough full of baby bottles instead of by hand.
Kinser says Keeper of the Wild has reunited about 25 fawns with their mothers out of roughly 40 that have been rescued, but is unlikely that this rescue will be returned to its mother, as it has been too long to bring them back together.
When the now famous fawn has matured, Kinser says he will be released back into the wild.