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TPWD: Hands off baby wildlife

fawns in downtown Llano, Texas

Fawns dart across the street near downtown Llano. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department asks that people refrain from interfering with young animals as the babies become more prolific this spring. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is advising residents to avoid interfering with young animals as they become more common in the spring. 

“Birds, rabbits, deer, and snakes become more active this time of year,” according to a TPWD media release. “Their young can be mistaken as abandoned. (TPWD) experts caution against lending a helping hand and remind you that it is illegal to possess wildlife in most cases.”

Many baby animals, such as fawns, are left alone while their mothers feed. Moving the fawn could mean its mother never finds it again. 

Fawning season begins in early to mid-May. A newborn fawn’s mottled coat hides it from predators. A doe might leave her fawn for hours at a time while browsing for food. 

“During that time, people may spot the fawn lying alone in tall grass or in a brushy area,” the TPWD release stated. “Many assume it has been abandoned by its mother and needs help, but this is rarely the case.”

Fledgling birds on the ground are often under the watch of their parents. If the bird’s eyes are open and it is able to hop around, it is best to leave it alone. It likely will be capable of flight within days.

TPWD recommends observing baby animals from a distance for signs of distress. If you are too close, you could over-stress the young animal and potentially drive away its parents.

If you believe an animal is seriously injured, contact a permitted wildlife rehabilitator in Llano County or Burnet County.