Leave young wildlife in St. Lawrence County alone, DEC warns
Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 5:02 pm

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is urging those coming across fawns and other young wildlife in St. Lawrence County to not disturb them.

The DEC says it may be fairly common to see a young animal crouched, alone and apparently abandoned, but this is a misconception.

"In nearly all cases this is a mistake and typically human interaction does more damage than good," a statement from the DEC says. "Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and do not attempt to touch the animal."

In some species, the parent gives little or no care and often stay away from their young when humans are near, according to the DEC.

"For all of these young animals, the perils of survival are a natural part of life in the wild," the agency's statement reads.

In the case of fawns, which are usually born in late-May and early to mid-June, their first weeks are spent lying still, except when nursing. The DEC says humans approaching these animals can delay the mother coming back to nurse it.

Fawns nurse three to four times daily for less than 30 minutes per session. The rest of the time, the doe stays away so as not to attract predators to her young, the DEC says.

By the end of the second week of life, fawns start to move around, spend more time with the doe and later starts feeding on vegetation.

The DEC warns that it is illegal to keep young wild animals as pets.

Those who find animals that are hurt or sick should consult the DEC's Wildlife Health Program before taking action, the agency says. It can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/261.html

For questions and answers about young wildlife, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html