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home : features : science and nature April 24, 2015

Don't Disturb The Fawns
Deer fawns are being born and wildlife officials urge the public to leave them alone.
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Deer fawns are being born and wildlife officials urge the public to leave them alone.

MONTPELIER -- The Vermont Fish &Wildlife Department says deer fawns are being born now and asks that people avoid disturbing or picking them up.

Most deer fawns are born during the first and second weeks of June, according to Vermont deer biologist Adam Murkowski.

Murkowski says it is best to keep your distance because the fawn's mother is almost always nearby. When people see a small fawn alone, they often mistakenly assume it is helpless, lost or needing to be rescued.

During the first few weeks of its life fawns do not attempt to evade predators, instead relying on remaining undetected through camouflage and stillness. During these times fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers. Bringing a fawn into a human environment results in separation from its mother, and it usually results in a sad ending for the animal.

Murkowski encourages people to resist the urge to assist wildlife in ways that may be harmful, and he offered these informational 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 close by.

Bob Ryan NNEKY

Deer fawns will imprint on humans and lost their natural fear of people, which can be essential to their survival.

Keep domestic pets indoors, leashed or fenced in. Dogs often will kill fawns and other baby animals.

For the safety of all wildlife, taking a wild animal into captivity is illegal in Vermont.

"It's important to remember that it is in the best interest of Vermonters and the wildlife that call Vermont home for all of us to help keep wildlife wild," added Murkowski.

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