They are awfully cute, and often times look abandoned, but the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding the public not to approach, touch, feed or move fawns seen hiding in the grass, brush or other vegetation.
Deer are “hider species,” which means a female will hide her fawn while she feeds elsewhere. She might not return for several hours.
So while the fawn might look abandoned and alone, it is often just waiting for the female to return. The fawn is well-equipped to protect itself. By the time it is 5 days old it can outrun a human and by 3 to 6 weeks of age the fawn can escape most predators.
“Spotted and lacking scent, fawns are well camouflaged and usually remain undetected by predators. The doe will return to the fawn several times a day to nurse and clean it, staying only a few minutes each time before leaving again to seek food,” said Ann May, a wildlife biologist with the Commission. “Touching, moving or feeding the fawn will do more harm than good.”
If the fawn is in the exact location the following day and bleating loudly or lying near a dead doe, residents are asked to call the commission for assistance.