DGIF: Leave deer fawns alone

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is reminding residents not to bother wildlife, especially baby deer.

White-tailed deer fawns sometimes appear in yards and hay fields, prompting calls to wildlife officials and animal control from concerned residents who are just trying to help.

But, DGIF says, in most cases, the animal is in no danger and should just be left alone.

The deer are usually believed to be orphaned, but that is generally not the case. Mother deer leave fawns in grassy areas for extended periods in order to protect them from predators, but does occasionally return to feed and move the fawn.

Fawns are born from May to July and will lie motionless in the vegetation, camouflaged by its white-spotted coat.

DGIF said any fawn that has been moved from its location should be returned as quickly as possible and left alone. The mother will not return while there are humans in the area.

If you do come across an injured animal, do not try to rescue it yourself. Either call DGIF at 1-855-571-9003 or visit the DGIF website for a list of wildlife rehabilitators in your area.

DGIF said the best way to help a wild animal is let it remain wild.

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