Source: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
As spring moves closer to summer, you will inevitably begin to see a variety of young wildlife, be it young birds, squirrels, and even fawns. Sometimes wildlife offspring will appear to be abandoned, and it is common for outdoor enthusiasts to try to help them. But biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) say these youngsters are better left alone.
“If you find newborn wildlife while in your yard or in the woods that appears to be alone, chances are an adult animal is nearby and is simply waiting for you to move along so they can take care of their young,” said Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the ODWC.
“It is common for fawns to be left in a safe place while the doe feeds nearby, and interfering with that always causes more harm than good. It’s also best to leave birds, young squirrels and other wildlife alone as well.”
In Oklahoma, many fawns will be born in April and May. People are likely to begin seeing them in May and June.
Biologists say it can be more stressful on young wildlife if people try to help.
“It’s good when well-meaning sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts want to help, but sometimes the best help we can offer young wildlife is to leave them alone and let nature run its course,” Hickman said.
In most cases, laws make it illegal to pick up wildlife. But on rare occasion, intervention might be required. In those cases, a wildlife rehabilitator can probably help. For a list of rehabilitators who are certified by the ODWC, and for more about young wildlife, click here.
For information on orphaned or injured wildlife in Texas, click here to go to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department information webpage on found animals.