Scottish SPCA asks the public to be #WildlifeWise around fawns

The Scottish SPCA is asking members of the public to be #WildlifeWise around fawns after a number came in to its care after being uplifted by passers-by.

Of the nine fawns that have been brought to the Society, seven of those were taken from their natural environment by people who have potentially mistaken the animals as abandoned by their parents.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity recently launched its #WildlifeWise campaign to educate the public on when they should contact them about young wildlife. The aim of the campaign is not to create orphans unnecessarily.

Female deer will leave their young from an early age while they forage for food. The doe will leave its fawn in long grass or under bushes to protect it from predators.

The charity is asking people to be #WildlifeWise and stay a safe distance away from fawns and not to contact its helpline unless the young deer is showing signs of needing assistance. A mother will return to the fawn and feed it so if someone does return later and the fawn does not show any signs of needing help then it should be left alone.

Mike Flynn, the Scottish SPCA’s chief superintendent, said: “Deer can find situations very stressful and by removing a fawn when there is no need to, it can cause great distress to mother and baby.
“We’ve had instances where people have phoned our animal helpline about a fawn and have chosen to ignore our advice and uplifted the animal anyway. One fawn was less than a day old and died shortly after arriving.
“Some people have taken the fawns in to their homes which is incredibly stressful on the animal. These are not domestic pets used to human interaction, these are wild animals and being petted and taken in to a home is not natural to them and they will be terrified. Sadly, this can cause so much stress that the animal can pass away.
“Our dedicated teams work incredibly hard to rehabilitate these fawns and get them ready to be released back in to the wild. This usually involves regular bottle feeding all through the night. As incredible as our wildlife team is, there is no substitute for an animal staying with its family in the wild.
“Our concern is also with the doe that finds her fawn missing. Unfortunately, this can result in the deer passing away due to the extreme stress caused by the incident.
“If you come across a fawn, please stay well back and do not alert it to your presence. Make sure dogs are kept on a lead. Monitor the fawn over several hours. A mother will return to feed its young and then go off again. If there are still no signs of the fawn needing help when you check back, please leave it alone.
“People should only intervene if the fawn is injured or the mother is deceased nearby.
“Please help us to keep wild families together and only phone when its needed.”

To report an injured or distressed animal, contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999. For more information on the #WildlifeWise campaign visit here. 

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