We’ve all heard the expression “like a deer in headlights,” but it’s still a strange sight when you happen upon it yourself.
Jessie Larson of Bremerton, Washington, had just dropped off her daughter at daycare and was heading to work when she spotted a mother deer walking down the side of the road with her itty-bitty speckled fawn. Startled by the sound of Jessie’s car, the mama deer sprinted into the bushes. Her baby, however, was too frightened to run and instead dropped to the pavement and played dead.
Jessie immediately put her car in park and waited for the baby to move, but after a few moments it became clear that he was far too frightened to move a muscle. After tooting her horn in hopes of startling him into action, Jessie finally decided to turn her car off to let the silence soothe him into moving.
“I turned off my car to let them have a moment to calm down,” Jessie explained. “After a few seconds, Mama came out and encouraged baby to get up and walk.”
As soon as the fawn feels his mother’s kiss he begins to perk up. Seconds later, he’s back on his feet and tentatively following his mama down the street again.
“They went directly down the road, so I turned my car back on to make sure they would go off the side,” Jessie said. “I’m glad I did, the next thing to come around the corner was a service van!”
After Jessie continued on with her day she shared the video of her interaction with nature on Facebook. “Little guy got so scared, he just laid down on the road! Turned my car off so Mama would come help…and yes, you hear me talking to the deer,” Jessie wrote.
Jessie’s video went viral on Facebook, but after a friend shared it on Reddit the clip really took off. The top commenter on the Reddit thread pointed out that it’s instinct for fawns to play dead when they’re still too small to run from predators, but this defensive instinct “kicked in at the wrong time and place.”
“Baby deer often drop down and remain still when they see a predator. They are not fast enough to out run a predator when they are that young. So trying to hide is a better option than running and exposing yourself to a predator that can easily catch up,” wrote Tripod1404. “Actually, when mother deer are foraging, babies often hide in tall grass or bushes like this, until the mother returns. If you take a walk in the woods during calfing season, you can sometimes come across such babies. They won’t move a muscle until you get really really close.”
We’re so glad that Jessie was able to stop the car and allow this baby a chance to get out of harm’s way! We must all remember that we share this earth with other living beings. Being kind to animals is another way to demonstrate the basic human kindness that lies inside us all.
Watch Jessie’s sweet video below and be sure to share with others!
Little guy got so scared, he just laid down on the road! Turned my car off so Mama would come help…and yes, you hear me talking to the deer
Posted by Jessie Larson on Thursday, May 31, 2018
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