Conservation News

Public reminded to leave young wildlife alone

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027
tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 21, 2018:

Public reminded to leave young wildlife alone

SANTA FE – Spring in New Mexico is an exciting time for wildlife. This is the time of year when most babies are born. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish reminds the public to leave alone any deer or antelope fawns, elk calves, bear cubs or other wild animals they may find.

Most young-of-the-year wildlife that people discover are simply hiding while awaiting their parents’ return from foraging nearby.

Removing these young animals can cost them their lives, Orrin Duvuvuei, department deer and pronghorn biologist, warned.

“For about a week after birth, young wildlife exhibit hiding behaviors to avoid detection and increase their chance for survival. You might think it has been abandoned, but in reality, the mother is typically a few hundred yards away,” Duvuvuei said. “In most cases, the best thing to do is just leave it alone and quietly leave the area.”

Public reminded to leave young wildlife alone - New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Returning a young wild animal to its natural environment after it’s been carried off by a human can be very difficult and may not work in many cases, Duvuvuei said.

If you see young wildlife, please follow these guidelines:

  • Do not approach. Its mother is likely close by and aware that you are in the area.
  • Leave the area quickly and quietly.
  • Observe the animal from a safe distance. Typically wildlife babies that appear to be dry have bonded with their mothers, and you can safely take their pictures from this distance, but don’t linger in the area or touch the animal.
  • If you think the animal has been abandoned, if possible mark the location using a GPS and contact the department by calling (888) 248-6866.

For more information about living with wildlife in New Mexico, please visit the department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

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2018-05-29T14:13:20+00:00