The state Department of Environmental Conservation is urging residents to keep their distance from fawns and other young wildlife. Late spring is the peak season for wildlife births and humans may come in contact with young animals that appear to have been abandoned.
Many people incorrectly assume that young wildlife found alone are helpless and need assistance for their survival. But in nearly all cases, human interaction does more harm than good, according to the DEC.
Those who see fawns or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and never attempt to touch the animal.
Most fawns are born during late May and the first half of June. While fawns are able to walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still. During this period a fawn is also usually left alone by the adult female (doe) except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume that it has been orphaned or abandoned, which is rare. Fawns should never be picked up; if human presence is detected by the doe, she may delay its next visit to nurse.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit the DEC website www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html.