The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently launched an “If You Care, Leave It There” campaign, encouraging people to not disturb baby animals. Tempting as it may be to approach newborn wildlife, you could ultimately harm the animal.
The DEC notes that it is common to see baby wildlife alone, as if they are abandoned and helpless. Caring humans approach the fawn, baby bird or other animal, which can have dire consequences.
A good way to understand what might happen if you approach a baby animal is to think of a fawn laying by itself in the grass. It may look like an orphan, but actually the doe only comes near her baby during nursing to avoid alerting predators to the presence of the fawn. The colors of the fawn, as well as its ability to lie there without moving, give the fawn innate protection when the mother isn’t around.
The doe won’t come by to nurse if you’re snapping Instagram pictures of the baby deer, or gushing over its adorable white spots, which is why the DEC wars, “If you care, leave it there.”
Also, wild animals can carry diseases that can be given to people. It’s definitely your best bet to leave the baby animals alone.
Have you encountered any baby wildlife this spring? Share your experiences with us!