Friday, March 5, 2010

If you find a fawn ...

The grass is turning green, the flowers are starting to bloom and in the Montgomery County area, babies are being born to wild creatures.

Friends of Texas Wildlife is a non-profit organization that rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife. It is often called upon to help what appears to be an orphaned fawn when, in actuality, it’s not orphaned at all. Fawns are often left alone for several hours while the mother is looking for food. Here are some tips to help you recognize if a fawn needs help. If a fawn is obviously ill, lying on its side, kicking, crying or is covered with fire ants, pick it up and place it in a box or animal carrier. A light cloth placed over the animal's head will sometimes calm it. Keep it away from pets and all human activity. Petting the fawn, talking to it or holding it does not comfort it. This is a wild animal. Human voices, odor and touch only add to the stress and will cause additional harm. DO NOT FEED THE FAWN ANYTHING. Call Friends of Texas Wildlife at once for help.

If an uninjured fawn is seen, leave it alone and leave the area. The fawn would not be there if the doe were not nearby. You will not see her mother. She will return for the fawn only when there are no humans near. If you have removed the fawn from its resting spot, TAKE IT BACK AT ONCE and walk away.  The doe will be searching for her fawn and will accept it even with human scent on it.

In general, it is not a good idea to make a wild animal your pet. Not only is it not fair to the animal, it is against the law. According to Chapter 63, Section 63.002 of the Parks and Wildlife Code, no person can possess a live game animal (deer are game animals) for any purpose not authorized by their code. The first offense for illegal possession of a live deer is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 plus court costs. There are similar laws for possession of other animals such as raccoons.

The picture you see was taken in someone’s yard in the Lake Windcrest subdivision off of FM 1488. Apparently, someone thought this fawn was abandoned and decided to make it their pet. After it was collared and leased, it escaped and was seen running throughout the subdivision. Its chances of survival in such incidents are extremely slim unless captured and turned over to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.

If you have questions about what to do if you find an animal in your area or even in your attic, call FRIENDS OF TEXAS WILDLIFE at 281-259-0039 or check their website at

My neighbor once found such a fawn here in The Woodlands.  He brought the animal for all to see in the cul-de-sac. It was found in a green area on the other side of his fence. It did not move when his dog kept barking at it. So my neighbor reached over the fence and [picked it up. It came alive and fought back. It was only obeying its mother to stay there until she returned. I asked him to return it, as advised by Friends of Texas Wildlife.  We never knew the final disposition of the creature, but I suspect its mother returned to fetch it.

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