Dog befriends fawn, inspiring a book and fuelling controversy
photo Isobel Springett
The true story has made international news but wildlife officials warn of fawn-napping
by Julia McKinnell The incredible story of a Great Dane from Vancouver Island befriending an adorable fawn has made news from Britain to Japan, been featured in the Los Angeles Times and on The Ellen Degeneres Show. This week, the tale hits stores in the form of a children’s book, Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story. The book chronicles how Isobel Springett, a Vancouver Island photographer, found a fawn on her property, and, afraid that it was orphaned, brought it into her home, bottle-fed it powdered goat milk, then watched in amazement as her 110-lb. dog mothered the baby deer.
Springett’s photographs are gorgeous but biologists and conservation ofﬁcers worry there’s something wrong with the picture. “You’re not allowed to take in wild animals. That’s the law,” says wildlife biologist Jeff Morgan, who has studied the behaviour of black-tailed deer on the island. “In the case of deer, very often the mothers will leave the fawns and go off to forage, and they will leave for prolonged periods of time. People see this and mistake it for a case of abandonment. With good intentions, they will take that fawn, but, unwittingly, they’re removing that fawn from its natural environment and its mother.”...Continue reading...