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USFWS - Tom Stehn

Jun 20, 2017 9:38 AM

NH Fish and Game reminds Granite Staters to leave baby animals alone

NH1.com

CONCORD — Conservation officers are reminding Granite Staters to leave fawns and other baby animals alone.

New Hampshire Fish and Game said as deer give birth during the spring and early summer many New Hampshire residents see young fawns by themselves and fear the worst. However, in most cases, they said the doe is not far away from the fawn.

Officers said that adult deer could be easily detected by predators due to their scent and large size and because of this, does spend long periods of time away from their fawns to disassociate their scent from the fawn and keep them safe from predators. For the first month of life, the doe will only visit the fawn a few times a day to nurse quickly before leaving again, but they usually don't go far.

Fish and Game said that sometimes well-intentioned, but misguided, individuals see fawns alone, assume they are abandoned, and take them in to "help" them. Most of the time, however, they are removing the fawn from the care of its mother, who was waiting to return.

The best chance a young wild animal has to survive is in its natural environment under the care of its mother, and officers said if you see a fawn or any other young wildlife, and suspect it has been abandoned or orphaned, do not move the animal. Instead, contact Fish and Game at wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov or 603-271-2461 to file a report.

Fish and Game officers can then assess the situation and help determine the best course of action. In most cases, it is best to leave the fawn alone and allow time for the mother to return to move it to a different location. Officers stressed that individuals should never take in wildlife unless they hold a special rehabilitator permit issued by Fish and Game.

Officers said improper care of injured or orphaned wildlife could often lead to sickness or death. Every year, the state’s only licensed fawn rehabilitator has several fawns die from scours because they have been improperly fed or cared for by the public.

For a full list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, go to www.wildnh.com/wildlife/rehabilitators.html.

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