Young wildlife born this spring who look like they’ve been abandoned may not be and are best left alone for their own good, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says.
The DEC issued a reminder this week urging residents to enjoy young wildlife from a distance even when they are on their own.
Most young animals learn survival skills from adults and some receive little or no care.
Well-intentioned humans may try to care for them typically do more harm than good, according to the DEC.
Whitetail deer fawns, for example, are usually left alone by the adult female, the doe, except when nursing to help reduce the chance that a predator will follow her to the fawn, the conservation reminder said.
A fawn’s protective coloration and ability to remain motionless help it avoid detection by predators and people.
In addition, keeping wildlife in captivity is both illegal and often proves to be harmful to the animal, the DEC said.
Wild animals are not well-suited for life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be transferred to humans.
Wildlife that appear sick or acting abnormally should be avoided by people and pets but may be reported to a regional DEC wildlife office.
More information is available online at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html.