Don’t Be a Fawn Kidnapper! Leave White-Tailed Deer Alone

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closeup of deer lounging


Leave baby Bambi alone!

That’s the advice of our county’s wildlife biologist as we move into the height of white-tailed deer fawn births from April through July.

You may encounter white-tailed deer fawns motionless and without their mother, then mistakenly assume they are orphaned or abandoned. In almost all cases, fawns are only temporarily left by their mothers for protection and need no human intervention.

fawn in tall grass“If you see a fawn that appears abandoned, leave it alone,” says Katherine Edwards, the county’s wildlife biologist. “People don’t often see that mother deer return at dawn and dusk to move and/or nurse their young. Keep children and pets away and give the fawn space to allow the doe to return to its baby.”

If you have already handled or “rescued” a fawn, and less than 24 hours have passed, you should return it immediately to the exact place where you found it. Its mother will be looking for it. Don’t be a fawn “kidnapper”!

You should only seek help for a fawn if it is showing obvious signs of injury or distress , such as wandering and crying incessantly, eyes swollen, has visible wounds or broken bones, or if there is a dead lactating doe nearby. If an animal is displaying these signs, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, veterinarian or the Animal Protection Police for further assistance and instruction.

If you have questions about whether an animal is in need of help or to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, contact the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline toll-free at 1-855-571-9003 , Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Fairfax County Animal Protection Police can be reached through the police non-emergency line at 703-691-2131 .

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