TWRA Reminder: Removing Whitetail Fawns From The Wild Does More Harm Than Good

Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wildlife Officers responded to a call about a fawn lying outside the public works building in Oak Ridge.  In spite of concerned citizens with good intentions wanting to help, the fawn was not interfered with and was rejoined with its mother upon her return.
Wildlife Officers responded to a call about a fawn lying outside the public works building in Oak Ridge. In spite of concerned citizens with good intentions wanting to help, the fawn was not interfered with and was rejoined with its mother upon her return.

The TWRA is reminding citizens to think twice before removing whitetail fawns from the wild in an attempt to rescue them from seeming abandonment.

Recently, TWRA Wildlife Officers have responded to an overwhelming number of calls reporting abandoned fawns that in most cases would have been better off left alone.

Anderson County Wildlife Officer Jason Lankford offers this information to those who may be considering rescuing a fawn: “The main points that I consider are that the doe spends less than four hours a day with the fawn and while she may look like a bad mother, in nature this is a very successful strategy.  She’ll visit the fawn when it needs it, otherwise it will sit contently looking abandoned but nothing is further from the truth. When a fawn is picked up, its chances of survival and ever being reaccepted into the deer herd drop dramatically.”  Unless it is confirmed that the mother is dead and the fawn is very small, the best option is to leave it alone.

Carter County Wildlife Officer John Ripley has also seen a dramatic spike in calls regarding abandoned fawns.  “The Wynn Wood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Carter Co. is at capacity for orphaned fawns,” said Officer Ripley who also mentions that when someone takes in a fawn and tries to care for it, there is great potential for attachment and is a captive wildlife situation.


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