Fawns are a sign of spring - and nobody knows that more than one Placer County wildlife rescuer. Diane Nicholas, the founder of Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue, is a new momma every year. She tends to hundreds of orphaned fawns each year.
- Well fawns are a sign of spring, and nobody knows that more than a Placer County rescue. New at four, CBS 13's Rachel Wolff with how they helped them return to the wild.
DIANE NICHOLAS: I ran to a goat rancher friend of mine, that saves colostrum for us.
RACHEL WOLFF: Diane Nicholas is a new mama every year.
DIANE NICHOLAS: This little guy got some colostrum, so we know that will help with his immune system.
RACHEL WOLFF: Tending to hundreds of orphaned fawns just like this one, which is only three days old.
DIANE NICHOLAS: This little guy, I will say to start with is a fighter. They named him Luke from Luke Skywalker because he had a sibling that didn't make it. The mom impaled herself and died when she was giving birth.
RACHEL WOLFF: Nicholas runs Kindred Spirits, a rescue operation that saves 200 fawns each year. She started the nonprofit out of her Loomis home 16 years ago and now serves seven counties working with CHP, game wardens, and animal control. Spring is her busiest time.
DIANE NICHOLAS: The farmers are out now grading all the fields and doing whatever, these little guys will pop into a canal by mistake, mom will jump over, they'll get caught and just float down the canals. And so the ranchers will find them and call us.
RACHEL WOLFF: Once the fawns arrive, they're quarantined as a precaution and then rehabilitated. Common injuries are dog bites or snake bites. The fawns are then grouped together to create a herd until their final release in the wild come fall.
DIANE NICHOLAS: We work with a lot of ranchers that have thousands and thousands of acres. And one of the things that we've learned is that if we release when the ranchers are weaning the calves from their cows, the cows will actually take in the fawns.
RACHEL WOLFF: They often stay with the cows that first year for protection, until they have their own babies. All of this care comes at a cost, close to 75 grand a year.
DIANE NICHOLAS: We're not supported by any government agency.
RACHEL WOLFF: Nicholas says their survival depends on her survival.