UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Burnout. It is a syndrome that is said to afflict humans who feel chronic stress. But after conducting a novel study using trail cameras showing the interactions between white-tailed deer fawns and predators, a Penn State researcher suggests that prey animals feel it, too.
“And you can understand why they do,” said Asia Murphy, who recently graduated with a doctorate from Penn State's Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. “Less than half of whitetail fawns live to see their first birthday, and many are killed by predators, such as coyotes, black bears and bobcats. Fawns instinctively ‘know’ they are in constant danger.”