Paws off! Let Mother Nature do her thing!

Leave newborn wildlife in the forest where they belong

  • May. 21, 2014 6:00 p.m.

 

VICTORIA – 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 they have only been left there temporarily by their mother, who 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria resident lives well despite dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

New Victoria Conservatory music scholarship recognizes long-time Sidney resident

O. Thomas Webb died in Sidney last year after retiring to the community in 1975

New Oak Bay bylaw supports planting 5,000 new trees

Residents can share thoughts on new tree protection bylaw at Jan. 29 open house

New BC Ferries hybrid-electric vessels arrive in Victoria

BC Ferries plans to add four more hybrid-electric vessels to fleet

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Most Read