Best advice when encountering fawns: Hands Off

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Best advice when encountering fawns: Hands Off
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White-tailed deer give birth April through July, with most births in June. Though dependent on their mothers milk for the first 2-4 weeks of their lives, from birth, fawns are routinely left by themselves while their mothers leave to find food. Fawns can stand within one hour of birth, blend into their environments and within one month, can outrun most predators.

So in spring, its possible to encounter fawns that are all alone, lying quietly in the woods or other area. Good Samaritans conclude their mothers have abandoned the fawns and attempt a rescue. But experts advise against this: If you find a fawn alone, dont assume its orphaned, says Earl Hodnett, Wildlife Biologist for Fairfax County. The mother will likely return later on and fawns that have been raised by people rarely make a successful transition back to the wild.

In most cases, the best advice to would-be rescuers of wildlife animals is to leave them alone. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, more than 75 percent of such orphans “rescued” every spring should have been left alone. Most wild animals are dedicated parents and will not abandon their young, but they do leave them alone for long periods of time while looking for food.

If you come across a fawn, and it is clearly injured or theres evidence the mother is dead, or you are still unconvinced the fawn is okay, call the Wildlife Rescue League Hotline at (703) 440-0800 before making any attempts at rescue.  A web site for more info on orphaned or injured wildlife: www.wildliferescueleague.org/.

 

 

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