THIS year for the first time on record two doe Mule Deer gave birth to young right in Grand Canyon Village, one within a few yards of the local hospital! This, of course gave an exceptional opportunity for obtaining dates and making observations of movements.
In both cases the does had twins. One pair arrived about 6:00 P.M. on April 13, and the other probably early the following morning. The first pair of fawns was observed by Chief Ranger Brooks standing up nursing within an hour after birth, and the animals even walked a few feet to a new hiding place at that time.
On the day following that of birth, the fawns moved distances of twenty to fifty feet several times. Their protective coloration was so effective that after each of these moves they could be located only with difficulty, even though it was known that they were nearby.
The fawns of the first pair were still near their place of birth on April 17, but apparently they moved away soon afterwards. The time of departure was undoubtedly hastened by numerous visits paid by curious humans. On April 18 one of the fawns returned but became frightened by the presence of some people and ran off through the woods, not to be seen again for several weeks.
One doe with her fawns, the latter much developed in strength and size, reappeared at Grand Canyon Village on July 14, and they have been seen often since. The fawns have become very frisky and can travel with apparent ease. The other doe, quite lame even when her twins were born, has recently been seen limping about with only one fawn accompanying her, so it is feared that something happened to the other.
Edwin D. McKee, Park Naturalist.
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