Officials remind Coloradans not to mess with young wildlife
As summer unfolds and wild animals raise their newborns, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding people not to approach or handle young animals.
“The best course of action is just leave them alone, leave them where they’re at,” said CPW District Wildlife Officer Evan Jones.
In the first week of June, CPW was forced to put down a fawn that was taken from La Plata Canyon and brought to the Southwest Region office in Durango.
“We had to euthanize that fawn because there’s no way to figure out where it came from, where its mother is,” CPW Southwestern Region spokesman Joe Lewandowski said.
Lewandowski said last year, a young pronghorn was brought into the Northwestern Region office in Grand Junction under similar circumstances and with the same end result.
In each instance, the individuals who removed the animals from the wild and brought them to CPW officials believed they were rescuing an abandoned fawn.
The same happens with deer in town and Jones said he could recall numerous occasions where individuals in Craig tried to take in deer they found in town before contacting CPW.
“Folks with good intentions sometimes pick them up not knowing that they could be doing some harm to it,” Jones said.
When a fawn is alone, it usually means the mother is out feeding and will return to the offspring. Removing the animal from where its mother left it makes it likely it will never return home.
“These animals have been doing quite well without our help for thousands of years and they know how to make a living on the landscape,” said Lewandowski. “People just need to realize that nature will take its course and they need to leave those animals alone.”
In some instances, such as a fawn in a roadway or path, it is appropriate to move the animal into nearby bushes, Jones said.
And if you are genuinely concerned for an animal’s wellbeing, contact CPW officers.
Mike Porras, CPW Northwestern Region spokesman, said it is never a good idea to remove wildlife from its habitat.
“It certainly can result in a well-intenioned individual being responsible for the needless death of a young animal,” he said. “Nobody wants that.”
For more information on how to respect wild animals and ensure their wellbeing visit http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/News-Release-Details.aspx?NewsID=5798
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