Protect wildlife by keeping your hands off

Protect wildlife by keeping your hands off

SPOKANE, Wash. - When young wildlife, some of it abandoned, venture into populated areas, there are things you should do to help protect the animals so they can return to their native habitat safely.

"We heard it through the night and it was yelping and needing mama," Dawn Harder said. "We had a mom down the road that was hit and we kind of figured that was probably mom."

Mom in this case was a deer that was hit, leaving a fawn to fend for itself. Experts say unfortunately it's a part of life.

"Let's all remember death is a part of life. Sometimes Mother Nature is not fair," Marilyn Omler from Ponti Veterinary Hospital said.

The first rule when you come across young wildlife is, as hard as it is you need to leave the animals where you find them.

"You're going to go camping, you're going to see these guys, walk away. Leave them in the wild," she said.

Mothers, whether its birds, deer, rabbits or other woodland creatures, can leave their young for up to ten hours a day. Animals like fawn are born without a scent so they won't attract predators. If you touch a young animal while their mom is away they instantly become more vulnerable to predators.

Omler said when you find a young animal and can confirm the mom is dead to first call the wildlife department and then do what Dawn Harder and her neighbors did, call a wildlife rehabilitation center.

"She needs care that obviously we can't do," Harder said. "Now she has a chance."

Ponti Animal Care will rehabilitate the young fawn likely until September and then release it back into the wild.