Rescuing Fawns: The Best Action Might Be No Action at All

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The summer months are upon us, and as people flock to the great outdoors, the likelihood of a confrontation with wildlife increases. One encounter occurring more frequently in the summer months involves fawns.

According to Steve Schwelling with the Texas Parks and Wildlife, each year young deer are unnecessarily ripped away from their mothers by well-meaning “rescuers.” In fact, Ann Connell, a wildlife rehabilitator in Texas estimated over 40 percent of fawns she worked with were not orphans, but had been kidnapped.

It is important to realize female deer will typically hide their young in a safe place, away from the threat of predators, while they forage for food. It is during this period of time that fawns are often stumbled upon. Believing them to be abandoned, people remove them from their hiding spot.

Fawn in the grass

Photo: Pixabay/skeeze

While it can be difficult to resist the big brown eyes of a young deer, leaving them alone is ultimately the best decision for both the deer and the benevolent citizen. The only time a fawn should be handled by humans is if it is obviously injured or in distress. In these rare circumstances, a TPWD game warden, or a local licensed rehabilitation center should be contacted immediately. If the best course of action is uncertain, follow the link for helpful tips.

Additionally, another essential component the general public should keep in mind when tempted to take fawns to their home is the threat of potential jail time, as well as steep fines. In the state of Texas, it is illegal to harbor any animal deemed as wildlife without a proper permit.

For the most part, people do not intend to harm fawns when removing them from their natural environment. Ultimately, they are acting out of concern for what they see as a helpless animal. However, numerous experts in the wildlife industry routinely encourage as little interaction between humans and feral animals as possible.


Photo: Pixabay/diane616

As residents and visitors soak up the Hill Country sunshine, interaction with native animals is, at times, unavoidable. Nevertheless, when coming across a fawn left on its own, it is important to remember that in most cases the “best action, is no action.”