July is the peak of whitetail deer fawning season in Alabama. The public is encouraged to leave seemingly abandoned, lost or orphaned fawns in the wild if found. Every year the lives of many young wild animals are destroyed by well-meaning people who attempt to “rescue” young wildlife from the wild.
According to Marisa Lee, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Hunter Education Coordinator, taking animals from their natural environment robs them from an opportunity to learn to survive, even if that means the animal must fend for itself. In most cases, the seemingly abandoned fawns are healthy animals with a parent nearby. “By taking animals from the wild they are prevented from learning about natural enemies and other necessary survival skills,” Lee said. “This especially is true for fawns. Although you may think you are helping, you are actually imposing a death sentence on them.”
Here are some fawn facts to consider if you find one in the wild:
Most wild birds and mammals (including fawns) are protected under the law and may not be legally taken from the wild or kept as pets. Only when a fawn is found injured or with a dead doe is there reason to do something. If found, the injured fawn should be delivered to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or to a WFF district office. For a list of district offices visit, http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/contacts/wildlifesec.cfm.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .