AM I AN ORPHAN?

A small fawn found alone in a meadow is not necessarily orphaned or abandoned. In most cases, mother is nearby - feeding - but alert and ready to defend her baby. Deer often leave their young alone in a secluded spot, even keeping twins in separate locations, to ensure predators will not discover both.

A white tail deer fawn standing alone in a grassy patch.

An "orphan" is:

  1. A young animal
  2. Unable to care for itself
  3. Whose parents are known to be dead
    or believed unlikely to return.

If you have found a healthy young animal that is able to walk and is fully feathered or furred it probably does not need your help. Observe the animal from a distance and call a rehabilitator for advice and assistance.


A mallard duckling.

Young ducks and geese are commonly separated from the rest of their brood. If you find a young duckling, note the location of possible streams and ponds in the nearby area and call a rehabilitator for advice on how to reunite the duckling.


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This was last modified on March 18, 2001.
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