Wildlife Officials: Leave fawns where they lay

State wildlife officials say the best thing you can do for any newborn fawn you discover is to leave it where it lays. The mother will usually return soon. {File Photo)

Bambi doesn’t need your help and you don’t want to be guilty of fawn-napping. That’s what state wildlife officials say.

It’s that time again … fawn season. Mama deer seems to have their babies in the oddest places … under your azaleas, in the hay field, or on your back lawn. As deer populations increase and natural habitats decrease, the likelihood that a deer mistakes your yard for the forest are good.

Many locals discover fawns and immediately think they’ve been abandoned by their mom and need help. Not true, say Tennessee Wildlife officials.

Fawns, unlike foals, don’t walk right away. They often need several days to get their legs under them. In the meantime, their spotted pelts look like dappled sunlight on the forest floor and offer great camouflage. Fawns don’t carry a natural scent, so predators won’t be drawn to them unless humans interfere.

Even if you can’t see her, Mama Deer isn’t far away. She’s likely feeding out of sight, so as not to unnecessary alert a predator to her newborn. She’ll come back, usually around dusk, but certainly not if her fawn has been moved or humans are hovering nearby.

It’s also not a good idea to take the fawn to keep as a pet because it’s illegal. In Tennessee, deer (as well as American black bears and wild turkeys) can only be kept by bona fide zoos and TWRA authorized wildlife rehabilitators.

There are some case when a Good Samaritan should intervene. For example, if the fawn is clearly injured or there’s a dead doe nearby. In that case, you should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitators. For a list of rehabilitators in this area, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}