Fawn Alert 

MARS marks record success rate 



It’s spring when Black-Tailed Deer give birth to fawns on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and may appear to be alone and abandoned. But wait a minute. Maybe the mother doe is away foraging for food and will return to her fawn?

A doe can leave her fawn for up to 48 hours while she is finding food. The newborn may not be an orphan after all. Fawns are programmed to lay curled up in the tall grass while mother leaves to forage away from her young. This is normal. The fawn does not have a scent to attract predators. It will lie still for several hours until the mother returns to nurse the young. If it is a safe location, the doe may leave the fawns for a few days.

Rescue/release rate improving

MARS has seen a steady increase in the number of fawns coming through its doors in recent years but the Comox Valley facility is also pleased to report that is having greater success looking after them.

“We had a success rate of one hundred per cent with the 16 orphaned fawns in 2015,” said Warren Warttig, MARS president and registered professional biologist. Similar results were achieved in 2016 because of changes to treatment.

“We no longer use instant formulas, cleaning is more frequent and the fawns are quarantined,” said Warttig.

Astrid McCloud, a respected nutritionist with the Wildlife Rescue Network who provided several of the recipes used at MARS, created the fawn formula which has made such a big difference over the past two years.

If you hit or see a deer on the road in our area, when possible move it well away from the road and if alive but injured report it to the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line at 1-877-952-7277.

Fawn Sleeping Patient


Warren Warttig

President MARS Wildlife Rescue

“We had a 100% success rate with 16 orphaned fawns in 2015, with similar results last year”