Reminder: Leave seemingly ‘abandoned’ fawns alone

Published: May. 10, 2021 at 12:37 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Spring has sprung, bringing white-tailed deer fawns to hayfields and yards in Central Virginia. Wildlife experts want to remind people that these “orphaned” animals should almost always be left alone.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources reminds concerned folks that most wildlife will not abandon their young, but they do leave them alone for long periods of time.

Fawns are purposefully left alone by their mothers to avoid leading predators to their location. Their white-spotted coats camouflages them as they sit still in vegetation. Most of the time, the young deer will not move if approached.

Does will return to feed their young, but only stay for a short period of time. If a human is nearby, the animal will not return.

Raising a wild animal in captivity is illegal unless you have a wildlife rehabilitation permit. With even the best professional care possible, the survival rate of rehabilitated fawns and many other animals is very low.

If a wild animal has been injured or truly orphaned, do not take matters into your own hands. You may locate a wildlife rehabilitator by calling the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources at 855-571-9003, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also visit them online.

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