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The Buzz

After Tragedy Strikes, Game Warden Saves Unborn Fawn with C-Section

Photo via Facebook/Oklahoma Game Wardens

Some fairly quick action from a Oklahoma game warden helped save the life of an unborn fawn after its pregnant mother and one of its siblings had been struck and killed by a car late Saturday night.

According to Oklahoma officials, Game Warden Ryan Walker received the call about the collision on State Highway 123 and, when he arrived, he saw both the doe and the deceased fawn. But then he noticed something else: Movement inside the deceased doe's stomach.

"Warden Walker took quick action performing a cesarean section on the doe to attempt to save the other fawn trapped inside," Oklahoma Game Wardens wrote on Facebook. "Within seconds, the newborn fawn was out and breathing on its own."

That fawn was then taken to a local wildlife rehabilitator where it will get a second chance at life. 

According to the University of Illinois Extension, most deer-vehicle accidents occur during two times of the year: May-June and October-December. While not all collisions can be avoided, follow these tips to reduce the risk of a fatal accident:

  • The single best way to avoid an accident is to be aware of the surroundings. Pay attention to deer crossing signs, and scan the roadsides for the "eyeshine" of deer (reflection of headlights in the deer’s' eyes).
  • At night, use high-beam lights when appropriate. This may allow the deer to be seen a few seconds earlier, giving the driver enough time to avoid an accident.
  • Deer often use woodlots, fencerows, field edges or areas near water. Extra caution is needed when these habitats are close to roadways.
  • Slow down around curves in areas where deer are known to reside.
  • Slow down and prepare to stop if a deer is along the side of the road. There are likely more deer nearby. Deer will often follow one another single file across a road. Trying to cross through the middle of such a group often results in deer colliding with the side of the vehicle.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Deer may stop in the middle of the road or decide to double back to the side of the road. Hard pavement such as concrete or asphalt provides poor traction for the hard and sharp hooves of deer. They may even fall down.
  • If there are deer near the road, and there are no vehicles close behind, slow down, honk the vehicle’s horn in short bursts and flash the headlights.
  • If deer are near the road, tap the brakes or use the emergency flashers to alert other drivers. Prepare to safely stop if the deer move toward the roadway.
  • If there are deer on or approaching the road, do not slam on the brakes or swerve sharply to avoid the deer. It is instinctual to do this, but doing so may cause a loss of control of the vehicle and a more severe accident.
  • Never tailgate! Always leave plenty of room between vehicles. Many severe deer vehicle accidents are caused when another vehicle becomes involved.


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