NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Buttonwood Park Zoo’s herd of white-tailed deer has grown by three.
The New Bedford zoo welcomed three young does this summer.
The fawns, affectionately named Annabelle, Acorn and Thistle, have been cared for by staff over the past couple of weeks.
The trio will soon join fellow white-tailed deer Autumn and Olive in their pasture.
This is the second time in two years that orphaned fawns have been brought to the zoo, which has a “strong partnership” with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
“I see so much potential for BPZOO to contribute to our local conservation efforts, including providing a forever home when release isn’t an option,” Director Gary Lunsford said. “Having tangible impacts on the lives of animals is one of the most rewarding outcomes of zoo conservation efforts.”
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While the zoo is grateful to provide a forever home for the orphaned fawns, it also hopes to use this as a teachable moment for residents.
The zoo said the circumstances which two of the fawns came into human care could have been avoided.
“The number one thing to remember is to leave the fawn where it is,” Lunsford explained. “It may look scared, weak, or vulnerable, but it is likely exhibiting typical fawn behaviors.”
Lunsford said anyone who spots a fawn and is concerned for its wellbeing is encouraged to contact MassWildlife for reassurance.
Anyone who has already taken a fawn into their care is urged to return the baby to where they found it and quickly leave the area.