Abandoned fawn quite at home in the wash-house

By Sam Boyer

Jill Hathaway with her adopted Fellow deer fawn. Photo / APNZ
Jill Hathaway with her adopted Fellow deer fawn. Photo / APNZ

A fawn has found a new mother and a safe new life away from the dangers of the forest.

Abandoned by its mother near Taneatua, the 1-month-old baby fallow deer has quickly taken to domestic life on its new Te Puke farm home.

Jill Hathaway took in the fawn when it was brought to her by her brother-in-law.

"My brother-in-law is in forestry. They must have felled a tree and mum's taken off," she said. "He lives in town so he's given it to me."

The fallow fawn, a species known for its small size, has already been named and is accustomed to domesticity. It is drinking bottled milk, coming when called and happily riding in the car.

"It's called Bella. This is only a little wee one. [Fallow deer] can keep their spots and they don't get that tall," Ms Hathaway said.

"It lives inside at the moment. It sleeps in the wash-house. I can call out and it just comes to me."

Bella is Ms Hathaway's fourth pet deer. And if this one is like the others it'll soon move out of the house and into the fields with the other animals.

"The last one we had thought it was a sheep, and then it got too big and thought it was a cow," she said.

"But it had a benefit over the cows because when the grass was all eaten it could jump over the fence.

"They tend to get sick of people and go and be a sheep or a cow."

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