Darius Sasnauskas was thrilled to witness the birth of twin fawns in his backyard earlier this year, but the Lithuanian outdoorsman's joy melted away when he noticed that one of the babies was suffering from an injury to its front leg. After failing to keep up with its more able-bodied sibling, the limping fawn was eventually left behind by its mother in Sasnauskas' yard.

Knowing that the fawn wouldn't last long in the wild with bears and wolves on the prowl, Sasnauskas (pictured below, with the fawn) knew he had no choice but to step in and try to rescue and rehabilitate the helpless creature.

Darius Sasnauskas with a baby deer

"I do not support keeping wild animals as a pets, but this was special situation," Sasnauskas writes. "I am sure that any of us with a little bit of a conscience about our existence, with love for the nature and animals would do the same."

Baby deer gets dog kisses

Although the first few minutes of the video are incredibly heartbreaking to watch, the story ends happily. After taking in the fawn and nursing it back to health, he began a tireless search for its mother and sibling, with the ultimate goal of releasing it back into the wild. It wasn't easy — the fawn spent so much time around Sasnauskas while it was healing that it was quite reluctant to leave his side. The little baby even became inseparable pals with his dog, Mack (at right), who was happy to provide an unlimited supply of nurturing licks throughout the rehabilitation process.

It took some time, but the fawn was finally able to say good-bye to Sasnauskas and Mack and rejoin its mother and sibling after they happened to return to the farm one evening. Since that joyous reunion, Sasnauskas has spotted the family roaming near his farm several times, and from the looks of it, both fawns are growing up strong and healthy.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Tenderhearted outdoorsman nurses abandoned baby deer back to health
After an injured newborn fawn is abandoned by its mother, a benevolent outdoors enthusiast steps in to rescue and rehabilitate the helpless animal.