How many of us have the chance to literally stumble over a new-born fawn while out for a walk on a trail close to home? A woman, out for a walk with her usually predatorial and hunter-style dog watched as her pooch gambolled over the middle of the path. Then, when the owner sensed that her dog was suddenly getting very excited and must have heard, smelled or seen something, she called it back to heel. Once again, in its rush, it jumped over the “rock”. On closer inspection, as the photo illustrates, the rock turned out to be a new-born fawn. What amazed the woman was that her dog didn’t even sense an animal in its path and completely ignored the young Bambi. The dog’s sudden change of behaviour was because it had smelled the mother in the vicinity.

Apparently, during the first few weeks, a fawn’s main defense is to hide and since its scent glands are not well developed, its odour is much less than that of an adult deer. Also, when frightened, its heart rate drops dramatically to around 60 beats per minute and it doesn’t move even when touched. Nature is truly amazing when it comes to protecting newborn wild animals from would be predators.