BY MELANIE BUCK –
It’s the time of year when many people in Arkansas are finding newborn wildlife, which is not uncommon during spring and summer. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission receives many calls about abandoned animals and what to do with them and local Wildlife Rehabilitator Tommy Young also receives those same calls, and many times, the animals as well.
Many people find what they feel to be lost or abandoned wildlife and take them in, thinking they are doing the right thing. However, according the Arkansas Game and Fish, this always does more harm than good.
Early in life, fawns and other baby animals lay very still so they don’t attract predators and are frequently mistaken for being in distress or abandoned. More often than not, their mothers are usually within hearing or visual range.
In addition to being removed from their mother’s care, many people try to care for the fawns, which is illegal under the Arkansas Game and Fish Code of Regulations as of July 1, 2012, and carries a heavy fine.
Remember, wildlife are just that – wild. If you feel that a fawn is in immediate danger by lying in, or very near a road, or in the path of haying equipment, pick it up and move it over a few feet. However, you should never remove it from the immediate area. The mother will periodically check on her young. Most wild animals don’t spend very much time at their young’s side in order to not attract predators to the area. Arkansas Game and Fish says the best thing to do is to just leave them alone.