Don’t Move Young Wildlife

Don’t Move Young Wildlife

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana –-( Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) officials issued a reminder this week to be sure to leave new born fawns and other infant wildlife where you find them.

What appears to be an orphaned animal usually is not. It’s natural for deer and elk to leave their young alone for extended periods of time to protect them from predators while the adults are feeding.

“If you care, leave them there, whether it is a fawn under tree in neighbor’s yard or a bunny under a bush in the mountains,” said Kurt Cunningham, FWP outdoor education specialist.

Usually, young animals picked up by people can’t be rehabilitated, and they are often abandoned by adult animals once human scent is transferred to them.

Additionally, to protect Montana’s deer and elk from the impending threat of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), FWP no longer accepts, holds, or rehabilitates deer and elk. An animal delivered to FWP must be returned to the site where it was found. If the animal can’t be returned to the wild, it will be euthanized.

The policy is necessary because CWD, a fatal neurological disease that affects deer and elk, is spreading in the United States and Canada. Although it has yet to be documented in wild populations in Montana, CWD is found in nearby states and provinces and an infected animal could spread CWD from a holding center back into the wild.

FWP also reminds dog owners to keep their pets leashed or close to their side this spring and summer so they don’t chase, injure or stress young wildlife.

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