Good Samaritan hiker’s selfless act repaid with surreal Bambi selfie

Scotland Smith and fawn after reunion with mom.  Credit: Scotland Smith

Scotland Smith and fawn after reunion with mom. Credit: Scotland Smith


Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 06.05.15

And the award for the cutest, most heartwarming, "man I wish I got that selfie" goes to….  Wait for it…  Scotland Smith of Tacoma Washington.  Mr. Smith was nice enough to chat with TrailMob.  Here’s the story behind the now viral selfie. 

Scotland Smith was hiking in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma on June 1.  On his way back to his car he was walking along the beach trying to beat high tide.  He hopped over a log and was surprised to find a fawn laying there.  Tired and in a hurry after hiking on the beach for a couple of hours he says he is lucky he looked down or he may have completely missed it.  After a short moment he looked inland up a roughly 20 ft. cliff and saw the mother staring at him and her baby. The fawn had apparently taken a tumble down the embankment.  The steep cliff was made of slippery clay and sand making it impossible for deer or human to climb (Scotland tried to no avail as well).  The small yet long sliding hoof marks made it obvious the fawn was exhausted from struggling in vain for some time to get back to its mother, but with no luck.

High tide was rolling in fast and Scotland knew the worn out fawn faced a certain death from being swept out to sea if he did not act.  Knowing the animal was wild and uncertain of the proper protocol in such a situation, Scotland says he called Fish and Game who told him to wrap the little one up in his coat to keep it warm and then get it as close to the mom as possible.  Unfortunately, the cliff meant a bit of a jaunt for Scotland to reunite the family.

“[the fawn] came up and rubbed his head against mine. I guess he was saying thank you.”

For the next 4 hours he hiked while carrying the fawn which he says made a few ‘mehs’ but other than that laid tired and motionless.  Finally, he spotted another fawn and the mom.  Exhausted after hours of bushwhacking up and down hillsides and struggling through thick brush, Smith sat down for a few seconds to catch his breath.  He set the fawn down near its family and while resting he pulled out his phone to snap a few pictures to celebrate the moment.  While snapping a few selfies Scotland says “[the fawn] came up and rubbed his head against mine. I guess he was saying thank you.” Then the moment passed and mom and her two fawns scurried off leaving Scotland tired, relieved and with a once in a lifetime memory.

We realize there are going to be those who disagree with Scotland’s actions and probably disagree with us publishing this article and we encourage discussion in the comments below.  We asked Scotland what he thought about those who criticize his actions.  His response was honest and straightforward, saying “First and foremost, I did what I was told to do by Fish and Game, which I called before I ever touched the fawn.  And then I did what I knew was right, instead of just finding a warm spot and laying it there and hoping the mother came and found it, I found the mother, and they were happy to be back together. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Any living thing that is in need of help deserves to have help given. To all the haters out there, you're just mad you don't have cutest selfie of the year!!”