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BOTD 10/7/14 "The Little Deer" A Late Chat Production

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David M. Katz

A Late Chat Production

You operate an animal rescue for small animals and local woodland animals.  To help fund the rescue you also operate a petting zoo. The rescue and zoo are operated on your property.  Your rescue and zoo are fully licensed and well run.

You also have a ten year old son, Logan. One of your rules for Logan is that he may not be with the animals without an adult or responsible person present.  You also do not allow any animals in your house.

Last week you took in an abandoned deer fawn that was slightly injured.  Logan became immediately attached to the deer, naming it Bambi, and has been giving it special attention. The fawn is progressing well.

For some reason Logan became concerned for Bambi and slipped out of bed at 3:00 AM this morning to go and check on the fawn.  Logan saw that the other deer were not allowing Bambi to eat.  Logan took Bambi in to the house to feed him.  After the deer was fed Logan began to play with him.

The noise wakes you and you walk into your family room and see:

LOGAN - 10 (With Bambi)
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Logan explains how Bambi wasn't being allowed to eat.

Is Logan in trouble?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

David M. Katz

My apologies for needing to post a bit early.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

Pi Beta

No, because I'm also soft with animals and understand his concern. Deer are also more active at night (in the UK), so perhaps we need to find a way of accommodating the deer so that it is in contact with, but not dominated by the other deer and allowing Logan a before bedtime slot for deer socialisation. This, however, is if the intention is to keep the deer in some form of captivity for the rest of its life.

But, I'm torn, against that, if we aim to return the animals to the wild, such human contact could prove fatal by making the deer assume all humans are friends.

Much will depend upon our long term plan for the deer. If release into the wild, then sadly I'm going to have to stop Logan getting this close to Bambi and any repeat would mean trouble for him.

If, of course, Bambi is venison in the making for us to sell, Logan is going to have to realise that this will be a short term "love affair", but it can continue - but NOT IN THE HOUSE!


If I am running such a facility, my property is sufficiently isolated that I'm not very worried about an intruder snatching Logan if he's out after dark.  And if I'm as caring, and my facility is as well-run, as the BOTD scenario implies, I'm going to be proud of Logan for "doing the right thing".

We'll talk about slipping out in the middle of the night, and about reasons why wild animals are wild and shouldn't be allowed in the house.  We'll plan on bedtime readings of The Yearling to learn why exactly Bambi can't be a pet.  But beyond taking Bambi back to his enclosure, and shooing Logan to bed, I'm not going to punish him, at least not tonight.

John Boy

Ditto Kier


I think Kier has it. Accepting the danger of being over attached to an animal I also think that if he is playing a part in running the sanctuary that we are about at the point where we should respect his instincts and graduallly allow him some responsibilities and trust


It does really depend on the long term intentions for the fawn. But it does rather look from this photo as if that question has already been answered and Bambi is going to remain with us as a pet rather than being returned to the wild.


This, presumably, is a 'one off' and however inappropriate his actions  Logan showed concern and acted with good intentions.  

This is a case for education rather than punishment.


At 10 years old, Logan is old enough to understand that rules are rules, and that they're there for a reason. He is not old enough to evaluate those rules and decide to violate them on his own in most cases.

In the morning (or after school, whenever we next have time), Logan and I are having long talk. I'll explain to him that deer will attack humans when they feel threatened, and that there are reasons animals are not allowed in the house.

I feel like he deserves a spanking for breaking the second rule, and I'm going to tell him that, but we're going to talk about it. I think the odds are pretty good that he can talk me out of it, but he's going to know he'll be getting an upgrade if we ever have to have this talk again.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Kier and Pi Beta. I can't imagine that Bambi will be returned to the wild. If he can't remain with us, then he should be in another wildlife sanctuary.

I've noticed that deer in parks, such as the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, have usually lost most of their fear of people because of contact. It's possible to get close enough to take very good pictures, though of course, I wouldn't recommend trying to pet them.


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