BC SPCA warns of accidental ‘fawn-napping’ during spring

BC SPCA warns of accidental ‘fawn-napping’ during spring
BC SPCA/Teresa Nightingale

The BC SPCA is issuing a reminder to let fawns lie, noting that baby deer that are left alone are often not abandoned.

Every spring, roughly from May to June, the SPCA says it receives calls about “orphaned” deer fawns hiding in backyards, parks or meadows.

Some people even go so far as to bring the baby animals to the Wild ARC facility in Metchosin “thinking that they are rescuing them” in what the SPCA calls “accidental fawn-napping.”

The animal group says this is often not the case, however, adding that mother deer commonly leave their fawn alone for long periods of time while they go about their business.

However, mother deer will return several times a day to feed their babies, generally around dawn and dusk.

“If you find a fawn lying quietly, hiding in grass or brush, don’t disturb them,” said the SPCA in a notice on April 26. “Fawns can’t follow their mothers for the first two weeks, so they spend nearly all their time alone.”

SEE ALSO: BC SPCA offering 50% off adoption fees for ‘Adopt a Shelter Pet’ day

What to do

The SPCA says there’s several ways to check if a baby deer is truly abandoned.

You only need to be concerned if a fawn looks injured, is following you around, is crying continuously or wandering aimlessly, if it is in an unsafe location – such as a road – or if it hasn’t moved from its hiding spot in over 24 hours.

If you do find a fawn in a dangerous location, the SPCA says you can gently move the baby animal with a towel or by wearing gloves to minimize human scent.

Move the fawn to a safe area close to where you found it so that its mother can relocate it easily.

People can also contact the SPCA animal helpline at 1-855-622-7722 if they have find a visibly injured deer or a fawn in hiding in a dangerous location.

An infographic on what to do if you spot a fawn on its own can be found below:

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