Leave wildlife where it is

Leave newborn wildlife where they belong – in the wild

Wildlife babies are rarely abandoned by their mothers

  • Apr. 22, 2015 4:00 p.m.

When it comes to newborn wild animals, mother always knows best, and so with fawning and calving season underway, provincial biologists are reminding people that newborn deer, elk or moose should not be touched or moved when encountered.

People who find these newborns alone often mistakenly believe they have been abandoned, but usually their mother has only left them temporarily, and will return. Intervening in these situations by ‘rescuing’ the fawn or calf is rarely necessary and will usually do more harm than good.

It is normal for mother deer, elk and other ungulates to leave their young alone for long periods, returning a few times a day to nurse, and relying on the newborn’s lack of scent to protect them from predators.

Returning mothers that find humans or pets nearby may leave or can become aggressive to defend their offspring from the perceived threat.

The mother will return if the young is left alone.

Although these newborns may appear abandoned, it is rarely the case, and if they are removed they will be orphaned. While professional wildlife rehabilitation facilities in some areas of B.C. can successfully rear these newborns, there is no maternal care and their chances of survival are far less than if they had been raised by their true mother.

This is true not just for deer; many mammals leave their young alone for long periods of time, only to return to feed them at regular intervals. So, if you encounter a young deer or calf in the wild at this time of the year, appreciate the experience, but don’t approach or intervene.

Quick Facts:

If you find a fawn or calf that you think may be orphaned, here’s what you should do:

 

* If it is lying quietly, leave it alone and leave the area. Your

presence will discourage the mother from returning.

* Keep all children and especially dogs away from the area.

* If you think the fawn or calf is not being cared for by its mother, return the next day to check. If it is in the exact same spot, it may be injured or orphaned. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible, but do not touch or move the animal.

* Do not touch or feed the animal.

 

Learn More:

To find a wildlife rehabilitator near you, visit the Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of British Columbia at: http://www.wrnbc.org/contact/find-a-local-rehabilitator/

Just Posted

Sooke municipal staff enters budget prep mode

All a matter of priorities, says mayor

Sooke mayor travels to Cambodia to empower women in politics

The trip is part of a Global Affairs Canada initiative

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

CRD committee proposes ending livestock payouts to farmers

The bylaw has existed since the creation of the CRD’s animal control service in 1979

Sooke approves new toilets for popular park

Whiffin Spit loos will have to wait

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

LETTERS: Cyclist feels safe on the road

I am writing to thank the many drivers I have encountered riding… Continue reading

Most Read