Is it legal to assist wildlife in Washington State? Its a valid question.

Every year, during spring into summer, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife receives calls from people who find young wildlife alone in the elements. People automatically assume that they've been abandoned. Sometimes, someone's concern drives them to remove the wildlife from their habitat. The well-meaning person will bring it to a wildlife rehabilitator or to their own home to nurture the young animal.

This "HELP" often does more harm than good.

Just because wildlife babies are alone does not mean they need help! Many wildlife species may leave their young unattended, even for long periods at a time, while the adult searches for food or to keep their own presence from attracting unwanted attention to their offspring.

In the case of deer, fawns are often found alone by well-meaning people. However, most fawns spend time alone on purpose. A doe will leave her fawn alone for long periods so she can feed herself and rest. While mom is awaay, the fawn will lie low and wait for her return. The baby will remain still and quiet. Deer often leave their young in odd places, such as a porch or backyard. A doe may leave her fawn for several days.

The chances are if you find a fawn alone, it is probably safe and healthy.

Do NOT touch or relocate it. If you know someone who has made the mistake of moving a fawn, you should attempt to return it to its habitat by doing the following:

Rub a towel on grass. Then wipe the towel on the fawn to remove your sent.

Using gloves, return the fawn to where you found it. The doe may return if you return the fawn within 24-48 hours.

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Contact a wildlife rehabilitator if the doe doesn't return.

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