He looked at his friends to see if they had any ideas on what to do next. They’d been driving down a road surrounded by woods, so it wasn’t unusual to run into wild animals. But this situation was extremely unprecedented. He figured his friends felt the same way. Regardless, they knew that they couldn’t drive away. They had to do something before it was too late.
Steve Knoop had lived in a rural community for a while now, but he had never been in the situation he was in now. When he drove off with his friends, no one had any idea that the day would turn out like this. They were riding along, talking, and having a great time. The country road they were on had virtually no traffic. But suddenly, Knoop found himself slamming on his brakes anyway.
Knoop’s friends were upset with him for hitting his brakes. He could have at least warned them. Then, they saw what he saw. There was a tiny brown lump on the road. At first, they assumed that the animal had been struck by another car. But there was no sign that the creature was injured. And since no one else was around, they decided to check it out. But then things got a whole lot weirder for them.
As they approached, it became clear that the animal was a baby deer. Knoop was overwhelmed with sadness when he assumed that the poor, defenseless creature was struck by a car. But the animal didn’t seem injured, and its eyes were opened. But its legs were tucked into its body in a weird position. It was as if the fawn was trying to appear smaller. Then, one of Knoop’s friends came up with a theory of his own.
One of the guys suggested that the fawn was crouching in order to camouflage itself. It was a self-preservation technique. But another guy suggested it was only a few minutes old, which was possible given how small the fawn was. Regardless, Knoop and his friends concluded that the fawn was unharmed when they noticed it was breathing. But they couldn’t just leave it there, drive off, and hope for the best.
“I think we should leave it alone,” one of the guys suggested. But the others feared that another driver might run over it. So, Knoop came up with a plan. “I’ll just go up there and park my truck sideways and wait until it gets up,” he said. “It should get up soon.” They talked about, but they wondered how long they’d have to protect the fawn from danger. Then, they heard some unusual sounds coming from the woods.
When the men turned, they noticed an adult deer lurking from the safety of the woods. They figured that this was the mother. Knoop was glad to see that the baby deer wasn’t abandoned. And with the female deer around, the fawn’s chance for survival had increased. But now, they had to find a way to get the tiny creature off the road. Then, one of the guys came up with a solution.
“We really should get it out of the road,” said Paul. And Knoop agreed with his friend. The other guys were on the fence, but they didn’t know what else to do. So, everyone watched as Paul walked carefully towards the fawn. In the meantime, Knoop documented the situation on camera. “It’s not gonna hurt me,” said Paul. “I’m not worried about that.” But Paul was worried about frightening the creature.
Paul walked up behind the fawn, bent down, and slowly moved his hands closer. He was checking to see how the creature would react to him. But the fawn didn’t appear to be scared, so Paul put his hands under the creature and scooped it up. Then he stood up and carried it towards the wood. But that’s when the fawn started to react.
The fawn began to move its legs in order to escape from Paul’s clutches. “Don’t drop it!” one of the guys shouted. Fortunately, Paul’s grip was strong. So, he managed to lower the fawn to the ground without any issues. Then, he released the creature. In seconds, the fawn leaped back into the woods to rejoin its mother, who was eagerly waiting for her baby to come home. Everyone was awestruck.
Once he saw that the fawn had rejoined its mother, Paul looked at his friends. Then he threw his arms in the air and exclaimed, “Yeah!” The other guys had the same ecstatic look that Paul had. They accomplished what they set out to do. “That was awesome!” added one of them. Knoop realized that this was a rare and precious moment, so he decided to share it online. But he received mixed reactions.
Steve’s video was seen more than five million times. And most people had nothing but nice things to say to Paul for saving the fawn. But others criticized his action. They felt that the creature would have eventually walked back to its mother if the men had just given it some space by driving off. But was the criticism justified?
The Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals claims that female deer often leave their fawns alone during the daytime, but the tiny creatures always find their way back home. However, most people fear the worst and they try to help. But in this instance, it’s better to just let them be, especially since grabbing a fawn could result in unforeseen consequences.
Wildlife experts warn that touching a fawn could leave a human scent on them. This could cause the mother to reject her young. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife advises people to “rub an old towel in the grass and wipe the fawn to remove human scent." But the fawn had run off way too quickly for Paul to follow this recommendation. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he had made an error in judgment.
The Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have no issues with the way Paul saved the creature. On their website, they wrote, “If the fawn is found in a dangerous place... [it] may be picked up and immediately moved several feet away from the danger." And most people would agree with them!