Deer — especially the smallest ones — have a way of capturing our hearts. Who can resist the sweetness of “Bambi”?
The fawn Darius Sasnauskas discovered near his home could have been the star of its own animated film.
He watched with concern as a little deer struggled to keep pace with its twin and mother. The fawn stumbled forward on what appeared to be an injured leg.
“I noticed that something was wrong,” Sasnauskas told The Dodo in a video. “Once in a while, she kind of sits and rests, and then tries to catch up with the mother.”
Sasnauskas quickly realized that the fawn would get left behind. With predators tracking them, the deer would be forced to desert the injured baby, leaving her at the mercy of the predators that stalked the wild at night.
“Mom knew that something was wrong with the fawn and tried to lick her and push her a little bit, but after a while, the fawn got tired and mom had no choice,” Sasnauskas said. “That was her baby, and she had to make this very hard decision to leave her baby behind.”
Sasnauskas stuck around the scene to watch the fawn until night fell. Once it was clear that the family wasn’t returning for her, the Good Samaritan brought her into his home.
“We’re in a very remote area and no rehab anywhere nearby, so the only choice was to take her in and try to help her,” he said.
Although his pet cats appeared suspicious of their new housemate at first, they eventually learned to coexist with the little fawn. Sasnauskas fed the fawn with a bottle and offered her a comfortable spot to sleep beside his own bed.
“I gave her my jacket,” Sasnauskas said. “She slept next to my bed, and the jacket became kind of like a comforting blanket for her.”
Sasnauskas acted like a stand-in “parent” for the fawn. He crafted her a leg brace out of an oatmeal box and ensured that she ate every four hours.
“She bonded with me for sure,” he said.
In a video Sasnauskas later posted to YouTube, it’s obvious that the two quickly became like family. The fawn interacted well with her “guardians,” the dogs and cats that resided at Sasnauskas’ home. Mack, the Bernese mountain dog, seemed especially fond of his new friend.
“He just fell in love, and started licking her and protecting her,” Sasnauskas said. “He decided to take her under his wing, never let her out of sight.”
Although the fawn had become part of the family, Sasnauskas knew that once she was healed, she should return to her rightful place in the wild.
He brought the baby to a meadow that deer tended to frequent in the hopes that one would adopt her as its own. However, the fawn seemed too attached to Sasnauskas to recognize the other deer as potential family.
Then, one day, a miracle occurred.
“I was away from the property, and my friend managed to reunite her with her original mother,” Sasnauskas said. “If I would be around, it would have prevented her from accepting her true mother.”
Almost a year after the fawn was reunited with her family, Sasnauskas posted an update to YouTube.
The deer have remained near his home, allowing him to keep an eye on his friend as she grows. Although she is no longer the “baby” Sasnauskas helped raise, she seems to be faring well.
On the whole, the little deer no longer frolics with Sasnauskas or his dogs, but sometimes she pauses to look at him.
“I have filmed them a few more times, they are doing great, and they are still around,” he wrote beneath the video.
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