provided by CROW
White-tailed deer are among the most populous and widespread large mammals in the United States. These deer occur in most of southern Canada, almost all of the North American mainland excluding a few western states, and range the entire span of Mexico and Central America expanding as far as Peru and Bolivia in South America. They live in many different habitats in arid, tropical, and temperate climates.
From the woods of northern Vermont to Florida’s swamps, there’s a chance to witness the majesty of a white-tailed deer. In most cultures, deer are considered sacred and referred to as ‘kings of the forest’. They are solitary animals except during mating season. White-tailed deer will use multiple forms of communication such as sound, odor, body language, and marking with scents and antler scratches. One of their most recognizable communication methods is flicking their white tail upwards to alert other deer of nearby danger!
White-tailed deer mainly browse and feed on twigs, bark, leaves, shrubs, and often nuts and fruits. Some choice snacks include lichen and other fungi. As large herbivores, they have an important impact on the ecological health of the environment. They greatly influence plant communities through grazing and seed dispersal. As a result of their widespread grazing, vegetation is able to regenerate which maintains overall healthy growth. Deer also contribute as an important prey species for many large predators.
On May 3, an infant female white-tailed deer was admitted to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife after being found on the side of the road in LaBelle. Upon examination, veterinarians found some small road rash abrasions. The fawn was standing well, but presented with a thin body composition score. Hospital staff was unsure if the fawn was actually hit by a car and suspect its mother may have been hit leaving the fawn orphaned.
The fawn was given milk before it was brought to the clinic so the rehab staff had to wean the fawn onto the appropriate type of milk filled with proper nutrients for a growing deer. The fawn received four to five feeds each day and, because of her young age, she still needed stimulation to go to the bathroom. The rehabilitation staff coordinated a transfer for the fawn so she could grow with other fawns in an environment with limited human interaction. She will be released back to the wild once she is the appropriate age and size.
THIS WEEK AT CROW (5/2-5/11):
There were 260 new patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital including 12 blue jays, 10 eastern cottontails, eight eastern screech owls, two loggerhead shrikes, two purple martins, two pileated woodpeckers, a ruddy turnstone and a great horned owl. Recent Releases include nine northern raccoons, three osprey, two bald eagles, and a big brown bat. Check out a full list of CROW’s current patients and recent releases.
Wildlife doesn’t have health insurance! Your donations help cover the costs of medical and rehabilitative care for over 5,000 patients admitted to CROW’s Wildlife Hospital each year!
Want to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation? Stop by CROW’s Visitor Education Center at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road.
About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to www.crowclinic.org. If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.