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Wildlife officials urge people to let baby animals be

Colorado Parks and Wildlife advises residents to let young fawns
Austin Colbert

— Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging people to not pick up newborn fawns and other wild animals.

Many people think they are doing the right thing by saving what they think is an abandoned animal, but in most instances, the animal is not truly abandoned.

“That’s going on all over,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife area wildlife manager Jim Haskins said.



Haskins said it is not unusual for an animal to be left by its mother for hours at at time.

“They’re leaving those fawns for hours or even a day sometimes, and they’ll be fine,” Haskins said.

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Haskins said that just the other night, an elk calf was left alone overnight, and the mother eventually returned.

On Wednesday, a fawn’s mother was scared away by all-terrain vehicles in North Routt County. When the fawn was found to still be alone a few hours later, someone picked it up and brought it to Parks and Wildlife officers. Haskins said the fawn’s mother likely would have returned.

The fawn was taken to a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

“That’s not the ideal way for them to be raised,” Haskins said. “It puts them at such a disadvantage for surviving in the long run.”

Another fawn was left by its mother all day Wednesday in The Sanctuary subdivision. The mother returned to get the fawn at dusk.

Haskins said that unless the doe was killed or involved in an accident, animals should not be approached, touched or handled.

According to Parks and Wildlife, young fawns have no scent and are born with speckled coats that provide a natural camouflage. These two factors help them avoid being found by predators. When the mother senses a predator might be close by, it moves away. Many other animals use similar survival techniques.

Officials advise that if you see a fawn, move away quickly. Do not move closer or attempt to get the animal to move.

Fawns that are truly abandoned will show signs of distress such as crying.

If an animal has been left overnight or shows signs of injury, call the Parks and Wildlife office in Steamboat Springs at 970-870-2197.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland


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