It’s the time of year when many people in Arkansas are finding newborn wildlife. The state is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and their offspring.
Throughout the spring and summer, it is not uncommon to come across unattended baby wild animals. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission receives many calls about abandoned animals and what to do with them.
Many people discover what they feel to be lost or abandoned wildlife young and take them in, thinking they are doing the right thing. This always does more harm than good, according to AGFC deer biologist Cory Gray.
“We receive quite a few calls about people thinking fawns have been abandoned by their mothers,” Gray said. “Early in life, fawns lay very still so as not to attract predators (like well-intentioned humans), and are frequently mistaken for being in distress or abandoned. More often than not, their mothers are usually within hearing or visual range.”
In addition to being removed from their mother’s care, many people try to care for these fawns, which is illegal under the Arkansas Game and Fish Code of Regulations as of July 1, 2012.
Wildlife are just that, wild. If you feel that a fawn is in immediate danger by laying in or very near a road or in the path of haying equipment, pick it up and move it over a few feet. However, you should never remove it from the immediate area. The mother will periodically check on her young.
Gray said most wild animals don’t spend very much time at their young’s side in order to not attract predators to the area. “Bottom line, just leave them alone,” he said. “Allow them to be wildlife. If you remove them from the wild they cease to be just that.”