Sheriff’s sergeant offers aid to fawn
When Sgt. Jake Engelman stopped by the Holiday gas station in Superior’s Itasca neighborhood about 7 a.m. Wednesday, he has handed a unique rescue call. A truck driver walked up to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and asked for help. While checking his tires, the driver noticed a tiny fawn beneath the vehicle.
“The little thing was curled up sleeping in between the axles,” Engelman said. The fawn was awake and the hair on its back was still wet. Seeing no other option, the law enforcement officer picked the animal up, brought it to a grassy area and set it down.
“Then he started following me around the parking lot,” Engelman said, occasionally licking at his pants legs. The fawn ended up under another semi. So the sergeant picked the animal up a second time and brought it as close to the tree line as he could. The fawn began to bleat and, as Engelman backed away, a doe came out of the trees for it. The pair wandered back into the woods, and the call was complete. By time Engelman left to answer another call, the fawn was feeding.
“Obviously I’m not a fan of handling and getting my scent on fawns that young,” Engelman said, which could lead the mother to abandon the fawn. “I didn’t want to do it.” For the animal’s safety, however, it had to be moved. A photo of the rescue was posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page later that day. It’s received more than 100 likes, was reposted more than a dozen times and prompted one viewer to question if it was a photo opportunity.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources offers information online about how to tell if a young animal has been abandoned or orphaned at dnr.wi.gov. If it is necessary to help a young animal that is injured or orphaned, a person can only have the animal in their possession for up to 24 hours for the purpose of transporting the animal to a wildlife rehabilitator.
According to the DNR, the nearest wildlife rehabilitators are Whistler Bends Wildlife in Webster, 715-866-4510, which takes rodents, rabbits and raccoons and Spooner Veterinary Clinic, 715-635-2874, which handles raptors and eagles.
Due to disease management zones in Washburn and Burnett counties, the closest rehab centers for fawns are Wild Instincts in Rhinelander at 715-362-9453 or info@
wildinstinctsrehab.com and Northwoods Wildlife Center in Minocqua at 715-356-7400 or email@example.com.