If you spot what appears to be an abandoned animal this spring, it’s more than likely typical wildlife behavior.
That according to TWRA Wildlife Information Specialist Mimi Barnes, who said many people run across fawns and other animals hidden in flower beds outside their homes.
“Many times, people might see a fawn and believe that it’s orphaned, but it’s actually not,” Barnes said. “What the mother does is she hides her baby and she only visits the fawn to feed it. Its defense is to stay hidden.”
TWRA says recent flooding has displaced some wildlife and has led to an influx of calls to the agency.
Barnes said people should follow a few steps to help keep wildlife wild.
“If you do not see an injury to that animal, let it be and walk away because if the mother sees you she’s not going to return to her fawn,” Barnes said. “Check back in a day and give the mother time to maybe move that baby to a new location.”
Barnes said cottontail rabbits, squirrels and birds are also commonly perceived to be abandoned.
“If the bird is still pink and doesn’t have feathers, that’s an animal that probably needs help,” Barnes said. “If it has feathers and can’t fly very well it’s probably a fledgling and fledglings tend to leave the nest when they’re not very good flyers. Believe it or not, birds are great parents and they’ll continue taking care of that baby.”
Barnes said it’s best to just leave the animals alone and let the parents do their job.
If you do come across an injured animal the TWRA recommends contacting a licensed rehabilitation organization.