“If somebody runs across a baby deer and they see [its] mother dead that’s been hit by a car or something [like that] then they need to be concerned,” he said. “… Baby deer have no scent. So what happens is predators will follow a mother around and the mother will have the baby and leave the baby during the day.
“The mother will come back in the evening around dusk and feed and clean that baby and then leave the baby again. A baby deer, when it feels threatened at all will tuck down and not move and you could walk right up to it. The point is if somebody sees a baby deer, leave it alone and just kind of watch it for 48 hours and see if a mother comes around.”
Since his affiliation with GWRA began in June, Lowry and his wife, Barbara, have responded to about 15 calls in northwest Georgia, regarding animals, such as deer, a raccoon and a barn owl. In all, he has transported six fawn, five originating from Bartow, to a rehabilitation center for further care.
“Unless they see a dead deer, which has happened a number of times, leave the [baby deer] alone, because two reasons,” Lowry said. “One is we’re out of places to take them. Rehabs are all full at this time of year and secondly, the mother is going to take care of that baby.
“Now, we don’t interfere with nature in situations like that. If the mother is dead, if the little fawn has a broken leg, obviously in distress in some way, then we pick it up and take it to a rehab center. Other than that it’s nature’s job to take care of them, not ours. If it’s a man-made problem, like their mother gets killed by a car, then we will intervene.”
A nonprofit organization, GWRA originally was formed in 2010 to respond to calls regarding rescuing animals in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With about 250 volunteers statewide, the organization sought to possibly triple its number of supporters recently by implementing online training. Because time is of the essence when tending to an injured or orphaned animal, Bartow residents were and are being recruited to respond to calls placed within their county of residence. Trying to recruit 10 to 20 volunteers in every county, the association is offering an online class, which will start July 17.
“[Volunteers are] important in every county but it’s more important in counties like Bartow where you don’t have a wildlife rehabilitator in town, in other words most of the animals or all of the animals that are injured or orphaned in Cartersville or Bartow County have to go somewhere else,” GWRA Executive Director Chet Powell said. “Some of them go toward Atlanta and some like baby deer are going almost to the Tennessee line to Blairsville and that’s where those volunteers come in handy.
“Another thing, besides just doing the transport, a lot of what we do is educational work with the public, like Charlie [Lowry] will probably be one of the first to tell you several of the animals he’s responded to should have never been picked up. … [It is helpful] having him there. It’s hard for somebody to talk to our dispatcher who’s answering the hotline in another part of the state and for me or someone else to convince them you need to put that deer back, because … it’s by itself and they equate it with a human baby in the woods almost. It’s different [with Charlie, because] he’s close and he can drive over and see this baby deer in the backyard and say, ‘Oh, you know what, this is normal’ and then he explains why and the people feel better because he’s looking at the same thing they are.”
For Lowry, being a GWRA volunteer is another way he can help enhance the lives of animals in the Bartow area.
“I’m on the Etowah Valley Humane Society board, so I’m kind of a sucker for animals,” Lowry said. “I think if you’re a human being in Bartow County, the charities are just incredible. … I think a human can find a place to eat and probably a place to sleep, but animals can’t and that’s why I decided that I wanted to be involved in animal rescue and help the animal population.”
Along with the organization’s website, www.georgiawildliferescue.org, and Facebook page, individuals can learn more about GWRA by calling 844-953-5433.