In this Wednesday, June 15, 2011 photo, a black-tailed doe lies with its fawns near Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Ore. Some ACH staffers named the babies Angel, Gabriel and Michael. (AP Photo/Medford Mail Tribune, Julia Moore)
Deer Triplets Born Near Hospital Last Wednesday:
This story was shared with me by Robert in Port Townsend, WA, of a nurse by the name of Nancy Nowlin, who sat down in the Ashland Community Hospital break room to enjoy her salad. She ended up having a wild show to watch.
Outside a picture window, near a bird feeder and the statue of an angel, a black-tailed doe gave birth to thee fawns - not the normal two and not six feet away from her chair.
She said, "I looked out and there she was giving birth, right now." It was like "Wild Kingdom" and right there and very surprised.
The first birth came at about 12:15 p.m., the last about an hour later. And for the remainder of day, the doe and her three fawns drew quite an audience.
After each birth, hospital employees played a lullaby over the intercom like they do for every baby born in the hospital's birthing center, Nowlin says.
"When I head it the third time, I thought, 'Did she have another baby? Triplets?' " Nowlin says.
A doe having three fawns is somewhat uncommon but definitely not rare, says Mark Vargas, the Rogue District wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"Some does will pull off raising three fawns," Vargas says. "They could have a higher survival rate there than elsewhere. They're protected from predators, except vehicles."
Does are in their annual spring birthing period and the ODFW has been overrun with calls from people concerned about potentially orphaned fawns.
People who come across fawns — as well as bear cubs and other young-of-the-year — should leave them alone because the does are usually just off feeding and they will return, Vargas says.
The only reason to move them would be if they were in direct harm's way, and then only move them off to the side, Vargas says. Does will not reject fawns because of human contact, he says. Partially taken from the Mail Tribune.