Fact Check

The Fawn

Does a photograph show a fawn cleverly camouflaged on a porch by its mother?

Published Jan 8, 2005

Claim:   Photograph shows a fawn cleverly camouflaged on a porch by its mother.

Status:   Undetermined.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]


A family in Oregon found this fawn on their front steps and took this photo. The white spots on the steps are apple blossom petals.

As you know, deer hide their fawns and go away for a while. The fawns have no odor yet, and naturally stay absolutely still.

Isn't this an amazing photograph??

A great job of camouflage!

The fawn stayed there all morning, (they live in Bend, OR), and the mama came to get it after 4-5 hours. Kudos to the people to leave the fawn alone, knowing mom would be back.



Origins:   One of the facets we find most intriguing in other animals is their display of human-like behavior, particularly when they engage in actions that not only mimic our own but suggest a level of intelligence and complex emotional thoughts similar to our own. Both those intellectual qualities are evinced through accounts in which female animals seemingly demonstrate both problem-solving abilities and a sense of compassion in the course of protecting their young from harm (features that figure prominently in another legend about a bird's sacrificing herself to shield her hatchlings from a fire).

To know whether the photograph displayed above — purportedly showing a fawn whose mother cleverly camouflaged it during her temporary absence by leaving it on brown wooden steps littered with white apple blossom petals, a combination which perfectly matched the fawn's tawny, white-spotted coat — fits this category, we would have to know all of the following:

  1. That the photograph is real and unmanipulated.
  2. That the fawn came to be on the blossom-strewn steps through the manner described (i.e., it was deliberately led and left there by its mother).
  3. That the mother deer recognized the blossom-and-steps pattern formed an ideal type of camouflage for her fawn (rather than, say, simply seeing the steps as a quiet, sheltered location where her fawn was unlikely to be disturbed during her absence).

Since we don't yet know the origins of this photograph, we can't speak to any of these points, so this image is listed as 'undetermined' until additional information comes our way.

Last updated:   1 May 2004


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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