This doe has three healthy and hungry fawns.
Summer is the time for fawns to grow up. Most people are used to seeing does with either a single fawn or twins. Triplets are a much rarer occurrence and it feels like they are more common with whitetail than mule deer.
However, in this viral video out of Princeton, British Columbia, this mule deer doe has a real handful with three hungry young fawns who all want to feed at the same time.
The peaceful and adorable scene was captured along the area's Highway 3 and is the most heart-warming thing you will see all day.
If you were wondering why these deer seem so at ease near homes, it appears they are urban deer, which are not uncommon in the western part of North America. These animals often have a greatly reduced fear of humans as they feed through backyards and housing complexes. I used to live in an area full of them and they would raid people's gardens and bird feeders for an extra snack.
These fawns are starting to get large. In a few more months they will begin to lose their spots as summer gives way to the fall months. It is worth noting, in my own personal experience observing both whitetails and mule deer, that it seems like mule deer fawns keep their spots slightly longer than their whitetail cousins. I am not sure if there is any scientific truth to that, it is just what I have noticed.
If you happen to see a doe with triplets in your area, that is good news. Triplet fawns are usually a sign of plentiful food and a population of deer that is healthy. The Quality Deer Management Association estimates that only 15-20 percent of does may give birth to three fawns each season, making sights like this uncommon and worth savoring.