Wildlife displaced by Sarasota, Manatee Co. development

- As Manatee and Sarasota counties continue to grow, the cost of development may be measured by displaced wildlife.

More commonly, baby deer fawns are being found, lost in construction areas.

At Wildlife Inc. on Holmes Beach, the newest rescue fawn is slowly becoming one of the group. It's a bonding process employees there have become used to watching.

"We have had fawns found in a lot of strange places," said Wildlife Inc.'s president, Ed Straight.

Straight said the fawn was found past I-75 in Manatee County, near Lorraine Road, on a home construction site. Workers found the fawn behind a piece of plywood. It's mother was nowhere to be found. 

"She somehow thought it was a safe place to put the baby, but it turns out, it was not," Straight said.

He was called in to monitor the baby.

"Mothers do leave their babies, so in this case, we wanted to give the mother opportunity to come back, but we couldn't leave it there forever. Sometimes, when there is a lot of noise and all, they won't come back," he said. "We set up, several blocks away, with binoculars and waited another hour, or two hours."

Employees waited hours, even through a thunderstorm, but there was no sign of the mother deer coming back, so Straight and his grandson rescued the fawn just after nightfall.

With more homes popping up, more fawns have been found in neighborhoods. Wildlife Inc. workers have rescued seven, many from similar situations.

"We see the results as rehabbers, because whether it be a baby bird or a baby deer, it's pretty hard for them when things are going on, that the mother and parents quit; often get frightened away," Straight explained. "As we move out into these areas, we are taking over wildlife territory."

He hopes residents will learn to co-exist with their wildlife neighbors.

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