Leave deer fawns alone

Grand Forks, B.C. Conservation Officer Dave Webster once again wants to warn people not to handle deer fawns (babies).

Conservation Officer Dave Webster once again wants to warn people not to handle deer fawns (babies).

Webster said that it’s normal for the does (mother deer) to leave the fawns alone and that handling them actually increases the danger to the fawn.

“A lot of times the does go off to eat; it doesn’t mean they’re abandoned,” Webster said.

“The fawns have a natural defense mechanism, which is they don’t give off really any odour that predators can pick up. That’s why the does feel confident leaving them up to three, four hours.”

Already one fawn has had to be put into rehabilitation because of handling.

“It’s out on an acreage right now being bottle-fed, because folks decided it was abandoned, picked it up and brought it home,” he said. “And like I said that’s not the best option for these critters.”

Webster said that people assume that the fawns have been abandoned or orphaned and so try to help it.

However, once the fawn has been touched it reduces the animal’s chance of survival, because the mother might then reject the fawn or predators will then be able to smell it.

“What they’re doing is putting human scent all over it,” he said. “It causes a whole bunch of problems for that animal.”