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An update about the roe deer mum


At the start of June I posted about a roe deer mum which guarded her newborn baby fawn which hidden in bracken, and kept barking at my dad and refused to run away. Dad has been back a few times to see if he could see the baby fawn. In late June he saw the mum, but not the baby. In early July he managed to see the back of the fawn, but nothing more. 

Then today I was supposed to go out with dad in the morning, but I was still sore after an accident yesterday, so he went alone. Near the same spot as before, dad spotted the two kids and the mum, then a bit further on still he came across something very sad.

Dad saw the mum first who was grazing in a field, then behind her were the two fawns who would be almost three months old and they had already lost their spotted coats. The twin fawns were already quite big but much smaller than the mum. They kept close to each other and close to the mum.

Roe deer always give birth at the same time, in late May or early June, so if they are smaller than adult you can be really accurate about how old they are. There are big for 3 month fawns already, but not big enough or independent enough to be 15 months old. Twins are unusual in humans, but 75% of roe deer births are twins.

A bit further on he came across the fawns again in the long meadow grass. The mum hid in a bush, but the twins went off separately, even when she barked.

Was it definitely the same mum ? It is difficult to tell female roe deer apart. This was the mum from before.

This is her together with the roe doe from today. I'm pretty sure it's the same deer but you can never be sure.

A bit further on at the edge of the same field he came across something very sad. One of this years roe deer fawns was lying dead after being caught in a fence. The body had been lying for less than 3 months (less than my non-decomposing zombie badger) but the head and neck was already fully decomposed:

Very gross image. Click and hold down to see the full picture or click here to see in a new window.

This is what was left of the head. The three teeth through on the bottom jaw with the fourth emerging mean it died very young. The spongy bone at top right was the this nasal bone. The skull wasn't properly fused, like all babies, and the braincase was full of beetle casings.

Very gross image. Click and hold down to see the full picture or click here to see in a new window.

A lot of roe deer fawns die whilst young, but it is still sad. I hope the other two make it and grow up to be adults.

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