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‘Fawn-Napping’ Becoming a Problem in Virginia


Wildlife experts in the Old Dominion State are increasingly worried about the amount of 'fawn-napping' cases being brought to rescue centers.

People with good intentions are causing concern for several wildlife rescue centers in the state of Virginia. Recently there has been an increase in whitetail fawns being dropped off at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke.

'Fawn-napping' is simply a phrase for the act of rescuing one of the diminutive deer by a well intentioned person or persons who have mistakenly thought that the animal was abandoned by its mother.

Dee Dee Hartson of the rescue center said, "It's not uncommon at all to see a fawn alone all day. This time of year, mom will leave them somewhere because they're too young to keep up with her. So, the mom leaves them somewhere so she can forage through the day and she'll come back and feed them periodically."

Since fawns are born without any scent, the simple act of touching them and leaving some kind of smell, even human smell, could cause them to be found by another animal, even a predator.

Lydia Hoeppner of the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke said, "If the baby is curled up in what we call 'fawn position,' where they're curled up like a cat, then that's always a good sign. That means they're being fed, they're being taken care of and they're just resting. If the baby is wandering around, kind of sometimes they look like they're playing, that's also a good sign."

Outdoor and animal loving people everywhere can learn a valuable lesson about wild animals by educating themselves as to what an actual emergency is in the natural world.

Many times wildlife does need a hand and caring humans are usually there to help, but overly concerned people can take a fawn or other seemingly abandoned animals away from their proper parent by 'helping' first and asking questions later.


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‘Fawn-Napping’ Becoming a Problem in Virginia