When born, a fawn may be approximately the size of a cat. Though it may look abandoned, its mother is likely close by. (File photo)

It’s fawn season and conservation is reminding people to leave them alone

A mother deer will leave her fawn for hours at a time before it can walk

Conservation officers are reminding people to leave baby deer and other wild animals alone — do not move them. Unauthorized people who do move fawns may be fined by the Conservation Officer Service.

“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,” Kelowna conservation officer Ken Owens said.

He said mother deer, elk and other species may leave their young alone for long periods of time in order to avoid attracting predators. A mother may only return a few times a day to nurse.

READ MORE: B.C. conservation officers talk bear awareness

“When she does return, she can be expected to defend her baby from real or perceived threats, including nearby humans and their pets,” Owens said.

Owens said 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,” Owens said.

READ MORE: B.C. conservation officers show alleged poachers unborn fawn after seizing pregnant deer

A mother deer will be aware of your presence and is likely watching you, Owens said. Just by being close to the fawn could discourage the mother deer from returning.

In Grand Forks, the issue is particularly acute because of the high deer population. The local conservation officer said that in town, deer already have to contend with cars, roads, fences and dogs. When fawns get separated unnecessarily then, it takes much longer to get it back to its mother.

Last year in B.C., several people were charged after picking up a live fawn and carrying it around for several hours. The Conservation Officer Service said that fines start at $345 now, with the charge being “unlawful possession of live wildlife.”

If you think a fawn is not being cared for by its mother, return the next day to check on it. If it is in the exact same spot and bleating, it may be orphaned.

Contact the Conservation Officer Service by calling 1-877-952-7277 if you believe a fawn is orphaned or injured.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Local athlete nominated for top B.C. award

Charlie Kain has been involved with Special Olympics since he was 11

Column: Have your say on library funding

Provincial funding for libraries has been stagnant for 10 years

Warming centre overshadows cannabis store at Monday council session

Council also heard about disk golf, city park camping and an RDKB housing survey

Entrepreneurs faced ‘sink or swim’ decision after flood

Grand Forks businesses left with little direction a year after the flood

Christina Lake clean-up a success

A wheelchair, cigarette butts and old tires filled the back of a truck headed to the dump

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read