May 28, 2006 in Outdoors

Steer clear of young animals

Rich Landers Outdoors Editor

Late May to early June is the peak fawning and calving season for the region’s deer and elk.

“Baby animals – whether deer fawns, bear cubs or goslings – that appear to be abandoned usually aren’t,” said Rocky Beach of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department. “Often their parents are nearby leading predators away or waiting for people to leave the area.”

Attempts to approach young animals can spur confrontations with their instinctively protective mothers, he said, adding that animals taken from the wild by unqualified people have a poor chance of survival. Idaho and Washington laws allow only state-licensed and trained wildlife rehabilitators with approved facilities to take wildlife into captivity for any reason.

“The best way to view wild animals is through a telescope or a telephoto lens,” Beach said. “Getting up-close and personal is a recipe for trouble.”

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