A family watches a deer give birth in Okotoks yard

A family in southern Alberta had the rare chance to witness the birth of a deer – in their backyard.

OKOTOKS, Alta. – Amy Bruce and her two sons saw a deer give birth in their Okotoks backyard earlier this month.

Kaleb and Tyler were the first to encounter the deer when they took their dogs to the yard on the afternoon of June 12. Kaleb realized what was happening and went back inside to look for his mother.

“As soon as he ran inside, he [Kaleb] said, ‘There is a deer having a baby.’ And I was kind of in disbelief and grabbed my phone and hit the video record button as I ran out the back door,” Bruce said.

Bruce, who began homeschooling his children at the start of the pandemic, took the situation as a real teaching moment for them.

« They were super excited and also a little disgusted and I was just trying to remind them that it’s completely natural and all of this is meant to happen, » Bruce said.

She was surprised at how quickly the event unfolded and was thrilled to be able to share this moment with her children, telling them how rare it is to see such a thing happen.

« I’ve never seen a wild animal give birth. I mean, we’ve all seen cows and other farm animals give birth, but to see a wild deer just hanging around and having a fawn, that was pretty exciting,” she said.

Bruce said his children were confused at first with what was going on, but the experience was very pleasant and they were glad to have seen it.

« I truly believe this is a memory my kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives, » Bruce said.

According to Bruce, the deer gave birth within minutes and then snagged in the yard just west of Beatrice Wyndham Park.

« The head and front legs were already out and she didn’t take very long to deliver, » Bruce said.

The deer cleaned up the standing fawn about 15 minutes later. The family then decided to stay indoors and give the two animals some space. The deer and fawn were gone before the storm hit later that day.


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