SANTA FE (KSMX)- Spring in New Mexico is an exciting time for wildlife, especially newborn wildlife. This time of the year has prompted the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to remind the public to leave alone any deer or antelope fawns, elk calves, bear cubs or other wild animals they may find.
Per the press release from the department, most young-of-the-year wildlife that people discover is simply hiding while awaiting their parents’ return from foraging nearby.
Removing these young animals can cost them their lives, Orrin Duvuvuei, Department deer 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.”
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, but don’t linger in the area or touch the animal.
- If you think the animal has been abandoned, mark the location using a GPS if possible and contact your local wildlife office.