DEEP says Bambi may not need your help

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reminds people that young birds or mammals that may appear to be orphaned or injured may not need help. It is normal for many animals to leave their young alone.

This is especially true with white-tailed deer, as the only time a doe is with a fawn is during feeding time, which occurs for about 15 minutes three to four times a day. When alone, newborn fawns instinctively lay motionless when approached.

"A truly orphaned fawn may show signs of distress by walking around aimlessly and calling out for several hours," said Rick Jacobson, director of the DEEP's Wildlife Division.

Many people also find young birds hopping around the yard in June and July. Most of these birds are old enough to leave the nest and are fully feathered but are still not efficient fliers.

Anyone who finds a featherless young bird on the ground can try placing it back in its nest or make a new nest with a wicker basket and some dry grass. Most birds have a poorly developed sense of smell and will not be scared away if a human has touched the young bird.

Anyone who finds an injured or orphaned animal can use heavy gloves to place the animal in an escape-proof container and contact an authorized wildlife rehabilitator.

There are about 250 authorized volunteer wildlife rehabilitators in the state. For a list of wildlife rehabilitators in your area, visit www.ct.gov/deep/wildlife. For more information, call the DEEP Wildlife Division at (860) 424-3011 on weekdays.

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