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Experts: People need to leave fawns alone

Published On: Jun 04 2014 05:10:17 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 04 2014 08:45:39 PM EDT

Late May or early June is the time when fawns/baby deer are born, but lately their lives have been put into danger

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. -

What many consider a good deed is doing more harm than good in the region.

Late May or early June is the time when fawns are born, but recently, their lives have been put into danger.

It’s a very serious problem that is growing in our area, according to experts.

Baby deer may appear to be in need of help when they are on the side of the road, but the real danger happens when people try to help them and that’s why the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center has its hands full.

"This is baby season, so people inevitably are going to find a lot of babies,” said Jonathan Clark.

Clark has worked at the wildlife center for years and went to pick up a fawn Wednesday afternoon.

In the past two days, the center has seen four fawns come through the doors.

A fawn was brought in Wednesday because its mother died, but as for the other animals, they were brought in by people with good intentions, who found them on the side of the road or in their yards.

"They think it's orphaned,” said Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center director Sabrina Garvin. “This is so untrue. A lot of fawns after they are two weeks old they will actually move around on their own."

But until then, they bed, or find a spot to sit and stay. It often confuses people because they think the fawn is in need of help, when it really needs to be left alone.

"It's actually a natural phenomenon when the mom leaves the baby for the day, goes out in grazes and comes back at night to feed it,” said Clark.

Clark said when you remove fawns from their mothers and natural environment, it puts their lives in danger.

"Even when they are raised in the best circumstances there's a possibility they might be habituated,” said Garvin. “That's not a fawn that can be released."

According to Garvin, resources are limited in Virginia when it comes to taking care of these animals and it is extremely hard to release them back into the wild after they go through rehab.

Bottom line is you should not come into contact with a fawn unless its mother is dead, it's attacked or looks to be sick.

If you do take one in, you should contact a wildlife expert immediately.

You can reach the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center at 540-798-9836.