Baby Care

That fawn might not need your help, local wildlife center advises | Announcements

That fawn might not need your help, local wildlife center advises | Announcements
Written by Publishing Team

The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke has issued an advisory about what to do if you see a white tailed deer fawn and think it might need help.

“This time of year we get too many, often unnecessary, calls about baby deer,” according to a news release from the center. “In almost every situation the mother will come back for her baby.”

Well-meaning citizens understandably want to aid an animal in distress. But just because a fawn is alone does not mean it’s abandoned.

“Fawns under two weeks of age are left alone for periods of time (sometimes up to or beyond 12 hours) during the day while the mom forages,” the news release explains.

Even signs of minor injury, such as a cut, are better left to heal on their own. According to the center’s information, fawns are difficult to rehab for a number of reasons, and due to the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease in many counties in this region, the center is legally not allowed to take deer from those counties where CWD is a problem .

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A few scenarios do suggest a fawn in distress:

If a fawn has been bleating for its mother for four or more hours at a stretch, there could be a problem.

If you see a fawn next to a dead doe, that is not normal.

If a fawn clearly has a serious injury, that is a dire situation.

In these circumstances, the best course of action is to call the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources at 804-367-2679. Another option would be your local animal control office.

Despite all the dangers in the wild, a fawn’s best chance is always to remain in the care of its mom. What looks “off” to us might be perfectly normal for the deer.

To learn more, visit the fawn FAQ section on the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center website:


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