Leave fawns alone: B.C. Conservation Officer Service

The facility can care for native small mammals and water birds, however deer, moose, large carnivores, and invasive species are not covered under the current permits. B.C. Conservation Officer Service

It’s fawning season and B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) is reminding residents again that if you come across a fawn, “just leave it alone.”

They may look cute, defenceless, even lonely, but baby deer and other wild animals should never be touched or moved, the COS says.

“Every year, well-intentioned people try to ‘rescue’ fawns mistakenly thought to be orphaned, but these interventions do more harm than good,” reads a COS press release.

“Mother deer, moose, elk, and other species may leave their young alone for long periods. To avoid attracting predators, a mother may only return a few times a day to nurse.”

When mother deer do return to their young, they can be expected to defend their baby from real or perceived threats, including nearby humans and pets. COS added that it’s typical for young hoofed animals to lie quietly in vegetation for hours at a time, especially in the first two weeks of their lives when they’re not strong enough to follow their mothers.

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Fawns are as small as cats when they are born, but their camouflage and lack of scent hide them from potential predators.

“Although these babies may look abandoned, they are not,” said COS. “However, if humans remove them from their rest spots, they can end up being orphaned.”

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna veterinarian forced to euthanize baby deer is dealing with aftermath'
West Kelowna veterinarian forced to euthanize baby deer is dealing with aftermath

COS says taking a fawn into your care is against the law and you could be fined. Fines start at $345 for unlawful possession of live wildlife.

“The Conservation Officer Service is taking a hard stance on these issues because it’s a problem that they are trying to eliminate,” said COS.

“Conservation Officers are reminding people that the best thing they can do to ensure a fawn’s survival is to leave the newborn deer fawns alone and leash up their dogs while out walking.”

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If you are concerned that a fawn is injured or orphaned, if there is evidence the parent is dead, contact the Conservation Officer Service through the (RAPP) line 1-877-952-7277.

Click to play video: 'Leave the fawns alone'
Leave the fawns alone

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