DEM: Do not approach fawns that appear abandoned

Fawn Nap_310042

A fawn rests in the grass of a suburban yard in Moreland Hills, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 8 , 2010. Mother deer will bed their fawns down for rests and return for them later. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Environmental officials offered an important reminder Tuesday to never approach fawns in the wild, even if they appear hurt or abandoned.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, fawns are incapable of following their mother during the first week after birth and will typically lie in a curled position in the grass. The mothers are normally nearby and will return to the fawn several times a day for feedings.

Unless a dead doe is found nearby, the DEM says fawns are not considered abandoned.

If you do encounter a fawn, the DEM advises you to leave it alone and depart the area without creating a disturbance. It’s illegal to handle and remove fawns from the wild, and doing so could be detrimental to their survival.

Wild deer don’t adapt well to captivity and can suffer malnutrition and behavioral changes and will have difficulty returning to the wild, according to the DEM.

Also, the DEM says to not wait for the doe to return since she will avoid the area until all intruders are gone.

If you spot an injured fawn, you can report it to the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife by calling (401) 789-7481.

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