Snoqualmie Deer Induced Traffic Jam

by Terry 6/17/2008 9:23:00 AM

I am had a delayed yesterday morning. There were two week-old fawns stuck in the school yard across the street from my house. One got separated from its mother when the school kids were being dropped off for class. The momma deer somehow got outside the fence and wondered back and forth down the street trying to coax the fawns to the gate and freedom. Traffic backed up in all directions, people started honking. People were watching or getting frustrated with the traffic jam, but no one seemed to take any action. Then the kids arriving to school realized they could get a close-up look at deer. I stepped up and chased away some 20 kids from the fawns before school started and tried to keep people away from the fawns and momma deer.

Finally, the momma deer worked her way back into the school yard and collected one of her young, but the other got spooked and bedded down in front of my house, still in the school yard. Momma did not want to wait around any longer. She took the one fawn slowly down the street to the forest a block away. I kept watch over the lone fawn. People kept asking me if I would pick it up and carry across the street to the momma, suggesting I wrap it in a blanket. I elected to leave it alone. Deer have been separated from their young before and I figured the momma would know what to do. Besides, I don’t like getting kicked by hooves, big or little.

Karen called the wildlife department for a little advice. They said it could be a couple of days for the momma to come back. I hoped it would not be that long. The deer live nearby and make weekly and sometimes daily visits on my street. The adults are comfortable walking the sidewalks and eating flowers from gardens. I have more than once opened my front door to find a deer on my porch looking at me. So, I worked with my laptop from the front porch keeping the people and dogs away from the bedded fawn. The school traffic subsided and the streets became quiet again.

Apparently, according to the wildlife department, if a fawn this young is touched or fed by people, it will be abandoned by its mom. Leaving it be was a good choice. After about twenty minutes, a police officer drove by. (The police station is a couple blocks from my house. Oddly, I was not surprised it took an officer that long to show up.) I describe what happened and told him I would hang out for a few hours to keep an eye on the fawn. He said thanks and drove off. I talked with the school staff and they closed the playfield during recess so the kids would not try to play with the fawn.

A school staff member walked by and said that Animal Control was being contacted by the Snoqualmie Police. I found that interesting, as the officer said nothing about it to me.

Things were quiet for about two hours. And then, quietly, momma trotted back down the street. She was alone, so I presumed she stashed the first fawn in a safe place to wait. As soon as the fawn saw momma, it made one little bleating sound. Momma walk through the gate and baby sprang up, ready to nurse for a few a minute. Momma then led the way back out of the playfield. I took a few pictures from my yard, and then stopped the few cars on the street as momma led the week-looking fawn slowly across the street into my neighbor’s yard and to the woods. The local drama ended.

The police officer stopped by again at this time, I told him momma collected the fawn a few minutes earlier. He said if the fawn was still there he was going to pick it up at take it down the street to the woods and let it go. I mentioned what the wildlife department people told Karen. He shrugged and drove off; interesting. I called the school to let them know the outcome, they were relieved. I sat on the porch for another hour in the sun to work, and then packed in my mobile office to return upstairs to my more comfortable desk, somewhat delayed but otherwise pleased with the day. It was a pleasant change of pace.

Deer_returns_1_web.JPG (160 kb)

Deer_returns_3_web.JPG (117 kb)

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About Terry Losansky

Terry Dee Losansky

I am a software architect, actively practice and teach martial arts and live in Snoqualmie, Washington. I have an amazing daughter who is the jewel of my life.

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