A Collegedale police officer responded to the 5000 block of Little Debbie Parkway on May 29 after a baby deer was found wandering around the roadway near the entrance to the Ooltewah Youth Association ballfields.
Officers arrived to find a very young, underweight and severely dehydrated deer. An open wound was also visible on one of its back legs that appeared to have been caused by the bite of
another wild animal. After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the fawn from the roadway
and into the woods or side of the road, the officers requested TWRA to respond.
The TWRA advised that they would not respond to assist and instructed the officers that their
only options were to euthanize the baby fawn or to return it to the ditch or tree line along the
road and let nature run its course.
Seeing that there was no way to keep the baby from running into the roadway and potentially
creating a traffic hazard and unwilling to euthanize a little fawn, the apparent orphan was
removed from the area and placed into rehabilitation so she could be released back into the wild.
After receiving the care it needed, the baby was released to fend for itself.
The TWRA instructs the public that it is illegal for unlicensed individuals to provide care or
possess wildlife. According to their website, rehabilitation is not an effective tool for deer, and is
best to leave fawns alone.
What should you do if you find an injured wild animal in Tennessee? Call the experts at TWRA.
The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association instructs people questioning if they should
rescue a baby animal to observe it for as long as possible before making a decision. If the animal
is injured or there are no signs of a mother within 48 hours, you can contact the TWRA or a
TWRA’s Region 3 office serves Hamilton County. You can reach the region’s TWRA at 1-833-
402-4698 or TWRA.ASKRegion3@tn.gov.