Here is their story.
While watching a family of deer, outdoorsman Darius noticed one of the fawns lagging behind the rest of her family, walking with an injured front leg.
"The fawn was helpless," Darius told The Dodo. "She was just born earlier that day, [and] still had some blood on her belly."YouTube/honeysada
Eventually, after struggling to keep up, the fawn was left behind.YouTube/honeysada
"I do not support keeping wild animals as a pets," Darius wrote in the video's caption. "But this was [a] special situation."YouTube/honeysada
The wild, after all, can be a dangerous place for a fawn. And since she was injured, she would have almost no chance of surviving with predators about.
So, Darius brought the fawn into his house. And although the fawn found herself right at home, Darius' pets didn't quite know what to make of her.
"Who are you and why does your bed look more comfortable than mine?"YouTube/honeysada
"She was very hungry and had no problem with any of my pets. [For the] first week, she slept by my bed on my shirt, and the shirt became very important to her," Darius told The Dodo. "She had to have it to be able to sleep."
The fawn didn't realize it yet, but Darius would become a lifesaver. He used an oatmeal box as a splint to help her leg grow stronger.YouTube/honeysada
He also nurtured her while she healed, feeding her every four hours.YouTube/honeysada
"I had to do some Internet search and reading to be able to understand how to [raise] a fawn … get up at night to feed her every four hours, and clean her after," Darius said.
And soon, she once again learned to walk on an even keel.YouTube/honeysada
And her spirits began to lift.YouTube/honeysada
She formed a special relationship with one of the dogs, Mack, who repeatedly licked the fawn's face.YouTube/honeysada
Mack's parental instincts kicked in, and he stepped in as a foster dad, becoming the most "helpful" during feeding times.YouTube/honeysada
"Mack was [a] big help" Darius said about his colleague's 1-year-old [Bernese] mountain dog, "because he just loved her and cleaned her so good."
As the fawn made her way toward a full recovery, Mack kept a close eye on her and never let her run off too far when they'd go outside to play.YouTube/honeysada
After lots of hard work, the fawn's legs had returned to full functionality. It was time to set her free.YouTube/honeysada
"She's already used to me, and she follows me," Darius narrated in the video. "But nobody can replace her real mom."YouTube/honeysada
Darius brought the fawn out many evenings to release her with a deer family in the wild, but she always returned ...YouTube/honeysada
… until one night, when the deer spotted her mother and joined her family once again. Darius' job was complete as a wildlife rehabilitator.YouTube/honeysada
Months later, he encountered the fawn once again, and what he witnessed was a confirmation that he did a job well done.
The fawn leapt through the brush alongside her family.YouTube/honeysada
"Since day one I was hoping to release baby deer back to the wild," Darius said. Over the course of her two-week stay, the deer went unnamed — Darius wanted to avoid becoming too close to her, since he knew he'd have to let her go.
"I really hoped that she did not get attached to me too much," he said, "because that would make [it] very hard for her to survive in the wild. She would become [an] easy target for hunters and predators." The wild is full of very real dangers for a deer, but Darius knew that the wild was also where the fawn belonged.
"[I've] seen [the family] many times after release, also seen them recently in the fall," he said. "The mother deer usually does not go too far from the place where she feels safe, so she stays around the area."
He concluded in his email, "It is [a] very, very good feeling seeing them safe roaming around."
It's a good feeling knowing that there are compassionate, thoughtful people like you.
If you have 17 minutes, there are few better ways to pass that time than by watching the full video below.
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