As the anxious mama deer hovers over, a Colorado Springs man carefully pulls a fawn from a window well.
After successfully rescuing the baby, Todd Dierdorff, who lives in Rockrimmon on the northwest side of town, quickly places the fawn on the ground next to its mother. On slightly unsteady legs, the baby deer follows after its mom as the pair walks away.
It's a sweet moment, and also, as it happens, a teaching moment.
For those of us living in Colorado, encounters with wildlife are a fact of life. It's not unusual to see deer grazing in yards, spot a bear in one of the city's open spaces or see countless other animals during our day-to-day. But most of us have also grown up be warned not touch a baby animal, because its mother will reject it. So if faced with a situation like Dierdorff, who saw that the fawn was trapped and needed help, what do you do?
11 News spoke with a wildlife officer, who told us that the whole "never touch a baby animal" idea is sort of a myth. If the animal is in danger and it is safe for you to do so, you can touch briefly. The officer said it only becomes a problem if you handle the animal for a long time and maybe feed it. That kind of contact can be harmful to the young animal. The way Dierdorff handled the situation--touching the fawn quickly and then immediately letting it go--was exactly right.
For Dierdorff's part, he said that when he saw the fawn he knew he couldn't just turn a blind eye.
"I thought, 'That's a really small critter and it would never get out of there if someone didn't help it out.'"
To see the full video, click on the video player above this story.
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