By Lynn Leming

In early July, while driving home from work on I83, I saw a sight that always breaks my heart – a dead dear completely obliterated on the highway.  As I exited, I saw another disturbing scene, there were two very young fawns!  Putting two and two together, I realized that they were the fawns of the unfortunate dead doe I had seen on the road.  These fawns didn’t know where to go without Mom, and this caused even greater concern.   Both fawns were in a little patch of grass just a few feet from the interstate.  I immediately pulled over trying to assess what if anything I could do to help them.  In fact, I cried!  I knew that as small as they were, they would not survive.  I knew for sure that if I went near them I could push them into traffic, so I went home to talk to anyone in my neighborhood who would listen.  Thankfully, they did listen, and listen some more!  Some told me there was nothing that I could or should do.  Others felt my pain and listened.  We started to brainstorm what steps could be taken.  We would take it one day at a time.  We knew that we would need to feed them and lure them closer to the nearby woods.  Then, in enters the phone call that guided me to take immediate action – Anne at Wildlife Watch!  She kindly listened and encouraged me to move forward with a simple plan.  We talked about moving them into the woods by offering them a mix of goat milk and baby rice cereal.  Off I went to Walmart to buy goat milk and baby rice cereal.  The little ones almost immediately moved into the woods for their evening and early morning feedings, but disturbingly they daily went back to that grassy area where danger awaited should they step into the traffic.

This could have been the end of the story, but of course it wasn’t!!  There were many ups and downs all through the summer as our neighborhood continued to watch them grow!  Daily, we fed them formula, fruits, sweet corn, and clover.  We placed signs that were made and donated by a local hardware store at the entrance and exit of the Interstate, and talked about them daily.

Many neighbors saw them in their backyards grazing, and I continued to feed them in my new friend’s  backyard at the edge of the woods. I talk to them almost daily and they acknowledge my presence.  We have all loved them as we have watched them grow and flourish.

They have grown now and have joined a doe and her twins and travel in the neighborhood together. Do we worry about them? Of course we do, but we have built friendships based on the neighborhood’s love for two fawns and hope and pray for their happy and safe adulthood!