DNR urges citizens to leave deer fawns alone

Deer fawns are being born this time of year and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks that people avoid disturbing or touching them.

“Fawns do fine even if they look abandoned or fragile,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader. “People can give them the best chance of survival by leaving them alone.”

Most fawns are born in late May and mid-June, and fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks of life. Instead they remain still to avoid being seen, and are camouflaged with white spots. During these times fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers. Bringing fawns into human environments separates them from their mothers.

“We understand people often mean well when they move fawns. But one way or another, once fawns are moved these young animals usually end up dead,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski encourages people to resist the urge to assist wildlife in ways that may be harmful, and he offered these tips:

• Deer and moose nurse their young at different times during the day, and often leave their young alone for long periods of time. These animals are not lost. Their mother knows where they are and will return.
• Deer normally will not feed or care for their young when people are nearby.
• Deer fawns can lose their natural fear of people, a fear that can be essential to their survival.
• Keep domestic pets indoors, leashed or fenced in. Dogs can kill fawns and other baby animals.

For more information about what to do if you find fawns or other species of baby wild animals, visit http://bit.ly/orphanedwildlife.