Medford, Ore. -- This summer, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is running into a big problem: people picking up, what they believe, are abandoned fawns.
NBC5's Jennifer Elliott explains why ODFW is trying to get the word out: the desire to help these baby animals is doing more harm than good.
In just the last month Oregon State Police have confiscated 8 deer from local residents.
Morey, a Subpermittee of Wildlife Images and Illinois Valley Rehabilitation, says people are finding baby deer’s seemingly abandoned and assume the mother has left them or was struck by a car. Morey says often times that's not the case, “because the mom is an herbivore she will be in the area, getting herself nourished.”
Over the Fourth of July weekend, ODFW got involved when a Medford resident picked up one such fawn and fed it on goats’ milk, something not suitable for the baby.
OSP cited the man, and the baby is now one of 20 fawns in rehabilitation in the Rogue Valley. Morey is working with 5 at her own property. She takes us back to their enclosure, but we can't talk as we near it and can stay only long enough to get a few good pictures.
While the younger ones who were bottle fed from infancy do swarm the camera, a slightly older fawn keeps her distance.
Morey says that's a great sign, “when we were over there, she stayed away from us and she froze and you could see a twitchy behavior, she has a really good chance of survival.”
Morey's enclosure is covered in camouflage, and she often approaches dressed in a gillysuit, “it's all about limiting contact as much as possible... this is a wild animal, not a domesticated animal.”
Morey says, a fawn too used to humans, will never survive in the wild.
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