LOOMIS (CBS13) — Fawns are a sign of spring – and nobody knows that more than one Placer County wildlife rescuer.
Diane Nicholas, the founder of Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue, is a new momma every year.READ MORE: Chico Girl, 3, Treated At UC Davis Medical Center For Rattlesnake Bite
“I ran to a goat rancher friend of mine who saves colostrum and he gave us some,” Nicholas said. “This little guy got colostrum, so we know that will help with his immune system.”
She tends to hundreds of orphaned fawns just like one she showed us on Monday, which is only three days old.
“They named him ‘Luke,’ like Luke Skywalker because he had a sibling that didn’t make it,” Nicholas said. “The mom impaled herself and died when she was giving birth.”
Nicholas says Kindred Spirits saves 200 fawns every year. She started the non-profit out of her Loomis home 16 years ago and now serves seven counties – working with California Highway Patrol, game wardens, and animal control.
Spring is her busiest time.
“Farmers are out now and tilling the fields and these little guys will pop into a canal by mistake the mom will pop over and it will just float down the canal. And so the ranchers will find them and call us,” Nicholas said.
Once the fawns arrive, they are quarantined as a precaution and then rehabilitated.READ MORE: 1 Person Dead, 4 Hurt In Shooting Outside Sacramento Nightclub
Common injuries are dog or snake bites.
“We work with a lot of ranchers that have thousands and thousands of acres,” Nicholas said.
The fawns are then grouped together to create a herd until their final release in the wild come Fall.
“One of the things we have learned is if we release them, the ranchers are weaning the calves from the cows,” Nicholas said. “The cows will actually take in the fawns.”
The fawns often stay with the cows that first year for protection until they have their own babies.
All of this care comes at a cost close to $75,000 a year, but Nicholas says their survival depends on her survival.
“We’re not supported by any government agency,” Nicholas said.MORE NEWS: 'They're Hurting': Family Of Injured Folsom Marine Stresses Need For More Military Mental Health Support
Nicholas says if you run across a fawn, don’t move it. The mother could have gone off to graze and come back in a couple of hours. Call Kindred Spirits and they will help you assess the situation.