They’re cute and defenceless – and they may look lonely – but baby deer and other wild animals should not be touched or moved.
Every year, well-intentioned people try to “rescue” fawns and other young ungulates mistakenly thought to be orphaned, but these interventions do more harm than good.
Mother deer, elk and other species may leave their young alone for long periods. To avoid attracting predators, a mother may only return a few times a day to nurse.
When she does return, she can be expected to defend her baby from real or perceived threats – including nearby humans and their pets.
Remember: It’s typical for young ungulates to lie quietly in vegetation for hours at a time, especially in the first two weeks of their lives when they’re not strong enough to follow their mothers. Fawns are as small as a cat when born, and their camouflage and lack of scent hide them from potential predators.
Although these babies may look abandoned, they are not. However, if humans remove them from their rest spots, they can end up being orphaned.
If you see a baby deer, elk or moose, stay away. Keep your children and family pets away, too, because they could be injured. Give them lots of room when you are nearby.