WILDLIFE ORPHANS Think before you act
In spring and early summer, many birds and young mammals are seemingly left alone, abandoned by their parents. But, in reality, wildlife parents are very devoted to their young and will not abandon them.
"Many species of animals are raised by only one parent, so when that parent leaves to feed, it is not unusual for the young to be left alone for a period of time," said Damon Greer, assistant supervisor of wildlife management.
"Whitetail deer are a good example. Once the mother gives birth to her fawns, she will find a secluded spot to hide the youngsters for the day. This helps to prevent predators like coyotes from finding the young deer. These areas may include tall grasses at the edge of a field, a flower garden in an urban backyard or in a ditch along a roadway," Greer said. Do not disturb the fawn. It is hiding from predators and will most likely not be found. Disturbing it will only cause it to run, possibly into traffic or in the opposite direction of where its mother is feeding. The mother will return to check on and feed her fawn during the night, the safest time for both to be moving about.
If you are concerned about the safety of a fawn or other animal, please contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife or your county wildlife officer before giving any direct care. Most injured or orphan animals require specialized care, which can only be given by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.