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A fawn in the hand was better off in the bush

People disturb a newborn fawn seemingly left alone to capture its first steps.
Image Credit: Youtube: slopjop
April 30, 2014 - 8:26 AM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - It turns out most rescued newborn animals left abandoned in the wild during fawning season don't need human assistance.

That's because mothers leaving their babies alone usually return, according to a press release from the B.C. Ministry of Forests. People mistakenly believe the fawn or calf needs rescuing, but doing so usually does more harm than good.

It's normal for mother deer, elk and other ungulates to leave their young unattended for long periods, returning a few times a day to nurse. They rely on their newborn's lack of scent to protect them from predators. As well, a returning mother who finds a human or pets near their offspring can become aggressive in the face of a perceived threat.

Adding to the risk, a newborn removed from the care of its mother is essentially abandoned. Though professional wildlife rehabilitation is available in some parts of B.C., the rescued animal's chances of survival are far less than if raised by its natural mother.

If you find a fawn or calf that you think may be orphaned, here's what you should do:

* If it is lying quietly, leave it alone and leave the area. Your presence will discourage the mother from returning.

* Keep all children and especially dogs away from the area.

* If you think the fawn or calf is not being cared for by its mother, return the next day to check. If it is in the exact same spot, it may be injured or orphaned. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible, but do not touch or move the animal.

* Do not touch or feed the animal.

Learn More:

To find a wildlife rehabilitator near you, visit the Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of British Columbia at:

Credit: Youtube: slopjop
Fawn's First Steps

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