They may look cute and they may look helpless but Conservation officers are reminding the public to leave animals, especially the young ones, alone.
"This is a pretty busy time of year for conservation officers," shared Game Warden, Lindsey Leko. "We start getting lots of situations where people will find young wildlife. The misconception is that they believe that they have been abandoned or the mother is no longer with it. A lot of times, that is very far from the truth."
He added that deer especially will leave their young for most of the day before returning to it later.
"A lot of time, the mother will leave the fawn by itself. It's safer by itself. It doesn't attract predators and it allows it to go out and feed and to rest too."
"There's nothing worse than an officer having to go seize an animal by someone who takes it home thinking it's going to be a great pet. These things are wild animals, eventually, they grow up. The public has to understand that any animal is a carrier of diseases. And secondly, it's unlawful to possess any kind of wildlife without permits."
"People will find a fawn for example, and in September, October, they will call us and say, "you got to get rid of this thing." By that time, I pull into the driveway, it runs out to my truck with my dog. The animal has no knowledge how to look after itself, it has no knowledge how to feed. And then they start to get a little rammy when they start getting into the rut."
"I had a family that picked up a baby fox and hung on to it for awhile and the whole family ended up getting rabies shots. Bottomline is, they're wild animals, they're cute when they're small but they get older."
"The message that we want to get out to the public is that when they see a wild animal, just leave it alone. Anytime we interfere, we lessen the chances of the animal's survival."
There are times, however, when you come across a fawn and the mother has been hit by a car. He shared that he looks for signs that the young has been left for more than 10 hours.
"Is it vocal, is it calling out or is it just laying there silently? Is it wet? If it's wet, chances are it's been there overnight as well. Is it covered in insects? Any indication that would show that it has been there for a long period of time."
"There's a couple solutions we have and one is to contact your local conservation officer and we'll come and take possession of the fawn. Ultimately our goal would be to get it to an animal rehabilitator. We want to make sure that the rehabilitation is licensed and knows what they're doing and how to properly care for all species of wildlife, especially the one you just found."
"Sometimes, unfortunately, there are cases where the animal itself might be rough shape, it could have injuries of its own, it could be malnourished. Sometimes the officer has to make a judgment call but most of the time, I know in my career, I try to find a place for them. The problem is licensed rehab places are getting harder to find.
He also reminded drivers to be careful while driving on the highways, especially during dawn and dusk since animals will be on the move and often in groups.