In June’s issue, we published a photo of two boys with a fawn. We did not include the backstory of the photo but we should have. Publishing the photo without context may have led readers to incorrect conclusions. One reader called to express concerns about interfering with wildlife and that touching the fawn would force the doe to reject it.
So, using the famous words of Paul Harvey, I share with you “the rest of the story,” as submitted by Jenny Blaske, who sent the photo along with the story of the encounter.
“On a Sunday evening in June (2021), Colton and Blaine Blaske rode along while cutting hay and had a memorable experience of saving a baby deer from the swather. The fawn was burrowed down in the tall grass by the White Pigeon School House along Rolling Prairie Rd. The young deer was fairly calm riding in the swather with Ken and Blaske boys for about thirty minutes. The momma deer was waiting back by the location the baby was found.
After slowly approaching, the momma deer came about ten feet from the Blaske family to reclaim its baby. The deer looked up, almost in appreciation, reunited, and the pair walked off together.”
After researching and discovering it’s a long-held myth that touching baby
animals leads to parental rejection, I contacted Nadia Marji, chief of public affairs and engagement officer at Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to get her take. Marji also debunked the myth but said the department encourages the public to keep their distance from wildlife for health reasons.
“We actually encourage people not to come into contact with wildlife to avoid transmissible diseases,” she said, and added, “How lucky we all are to live in a state where we can encounter wildlife.”
Jenny gave permission to share her story in my column, and included an update to the story: Her family continued to see the mama deer and her baby grazing on their land among the fruit trees and the alfalfa the rest of that summer. A memory I’m sure the Blaske boys will not soon forget.