June 16, 2014
Please Respect Wildlife, Leave Fawns Alone
With the weather getting warmer this is the time of year in Kamloops when we will begin see a lot more baby wildlife peeking out of wooded areas. As cute as those wild animals are, especially deer fawns, it's best to keep your hands off the animals. Every year the BC Conservation office receives numerous calls from the public about supposedly “orphaned” fawns, but in reality they are not motherless.
Here are some important pieces of information to know:
- Ninety-nine percent of calls from the public reporting the discovery of a fawn, do not involve orphaned fawns.
- Generally, if there is no dead doe in the area or on nearby roads, the fawn is not an orphan.
- Often does will not return to their fawns until well after dark.
- Keep yourself and pets far away from the fawn. It may take a good 24 hours for a doe to feel safe enough to return to her fawn. If a mother were to return to her fawn prematurely, she might risk leading a predator directly to her fawn.
- Do not touch the fawn! This could cause the mother to reject it. If the fawn has already been "handled", wipe the fawn off with a clean towel rubbed with dirt, put on a clean pair of gloves, and return the fawn to the site of origin.
- If the fawn has wandered into someone's garage or other precarious position, gently coax the fawn out or move to a quiet, nearby site while wearing gloves. Do not move the fawn too far.
- Coyotes, dogs, cats, raccoons, construction, etc. are not reasons for fawn removal. These are things that deer must encounter on a daily basis in Kamloops. A mother deer will move her fawn away from danger if given the chance.
- Fawns are born late May through the end of June, with the peak number born in early June. Mother deer often give birth at night in areas (such as people's front yards) which may seem perfectly safe at night but differ drastically during daylight hours.
- For the first 5 days after birth, fawns will not run when approached. Instead, they will exhibit "freeze behavior". They lie still when approached. From the 7th day on, fawns will exhibit "flight behavior" when approached. By one month of age fawns venture out to browse with their mothers.
The above applies to young fawns only (under 3 months of age). Adult deer cannot be successfully rehabilitated. An adult deer who is injured (hit by car, etc.) and cannot get up and walk away on its own should be euthanized. Call the Conservation Officer Reporting Line at 1.877.952.7277.