Leave That Wild Animal Alone
June 2016 — Living in Texas means, sometimes, being surrounded by various wildlife. This is especially true if you live in the Hill Country. With the springtime all but behind us, it means baby animals. This is also the time when Wildlife Rehabilitators head into high gear.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department it’s not uncommon during the summer months to see what appears to be an abandoned fawn deer or fledgling birds. That instance is when well-meaning humans need to resist the urge to help, wildlife experts say.
Some species, including birds, deer and snakes, are normally very active this time of year and are typically seen more frequently. With the abundance of recent rainfall, increased sightings of displaced wildlife in flooded areas can also be expected, but if left alone these critters will return to their natural environment once water levels subside.
Young birds can be seen out of their nest but cannot yet fly. If the birds eyes are open, it has a coat or feathers and it is hopping around – it is probably fine. Grounded fledglings will usually be up and flying within a few days. Also the fawning season is well underway, and deer will typically leave their fawns for hours at a time, returning only to nurse them. Some casual observers, thinking that they have been abandoned by their mothers and need help, pick up these fawns or birds. This is rarely the case.
A fawn or other animal should only be picked up if it is covered in fire ants or is otherwise seriously injured. This helpful article published by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides guidelines on assessing the situation you might encounter.
It is worth remembering that “helping” an animal that appears to be orphaned often means doing nothing.