Every spring, deer populations get a boost because this is when mother deer give birth to fawns.
The mating season is from late October to early January and fawns are typically born in late May to early June.
The mother deer hides her fawn in vegetation for the first week of its life to hide them from predators. She will regularly come back to her baby and feed it.
A fawn stays with her mother for about one year, nursing for about three to four months after birth.
In May 2020, Dawn Rasmussen’s husband was outside in their yard when he heard a baby deer crying and bleating like a sheep.
He went towards the sound when a baby deer came running up to him and ended up standing on his foot.
Dawn and her husband named the fawn Thor.
They called the vet immediately after finding the baby deer, and after a thorough examination, they determined that Thor was abandoned. They think his mother most likely passed away because fawns are not typically left to fend for themselves.
“The fact that Thor was up and around was a really bad sign,” Dawn told GeoBeats Animals.
The vet didn’t have space for him, so they became instant deer parents when Thor was sent back home with them.
Dawn was clear throughout this journey that she would raise him as a wild animal, not a pet.
They created a large outdoor enclosure where he could roam around and stay outside.
“For the first month and a half, I slept outside in a tent near him, so he was safe at night,” she shared.
She also fed him goat’s milk using a bottle every three hours from May to September. Dawn nurtured, cared for, and taught him how to search for food.
By the time he was four months old, Thor was out in the wild, coming and going as he pleased
“He would be out there somewhere, and when I would call, ‘Thor, milky,’ he would come running down and come get his bottle of milk,” she also shared.
If she didn’t come out fast enough, he would wait outside on their deck on a doormat waiting for his milk.
Thor is now two and a half years old and has formed a special relationship with Dawn. He is part of a herd of deer that lives nearby and includes relatives of Thor, such as his aunts and sisters.
He now leaves his home range for extended periods, and sometimes Dawn doesn’t see him for a month.
However, he always comes back and hangs out with Dawn.
Their bond became stronger when he showed up at her home with a leg injury. Dawn cared for his wound, exercised with him, and even massaged his leg.
Thor fully recovered and can now run and jump like any other deer.
Because of the trust between the two of them, the other deer in Thor’s herd is also comfortable with Dawn
If she is outside in the yard sitting down, Thor will come sit with her and the other deer will also sit around them.
Caring for Thor has made Dawn appreciate the outdoors more and what is happening around her.
She is now more conscious of the environment and the importance of animals in our world
“Thor’s been a great inter-species ambassador. It makes my life so wonderful. I really treasure every moment I have with Thor,” said Dawn.
Watch the video below to see the special relationship between Thor the deer and his caring foster mom!
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