Enjoying The Great Outdoors In Texas? Great, Just Don’t Touch The Wildlife
It's Spring in Texas and not only does that mean warmer temperatures, thunderstorms (hopefully here in West Texas, because we really need it!), and of course it also means that more of us are getting out and enjoying the great outdoors.
It is also very possible that you may come across wildlife. Sometimes in your back yard, other times just out in neighborhoods. And while young birds, deer, and snakes can be thought of as being abandoned, that is not always the case and on Friday the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department asked for the public's help when it comes to encountering wildlife. The basic message? Please, don't touch the wildlife.
According to a press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, baby birds and deer fawns are often picked up by people who mean well, but it could end up hurting them in the long run.
Deer fawning season begins in early to mid-May. A newborn fawn’s mottled coat and mother’s care usually hides them from predators. As fawns mature, they shed these coats for a more adult color, which causes them to catch the eye. A doe may leave her fawn for hours at a time while she is browsing for food. During that time, people may spot a fawn lying alone in tall grass or in a brushy area. Many people interfere with the fawn thinking it has been abandoned by its mother and needs help. This is rarely the case.
Leave all young animals alone unless it is obviously injured. To be sure, spend time observing the wild animal from a distance to make that determination. Staying too close may deter the mother from returning. Interfering to soon may do more harm than good.
The same principals apply to young birds who might be out of their nests but cannot fly. If the bird’s eyes are open, it has feathers and is hopping around, mom and dad are likely nearby. Grounded fledglings will usually be up and flying within a few days.
Texas Parks and Wildlife also mentioned that turtles are often picked up to help cross the road. If it's done safely it can be harmless, but they did warn against taking any home as new pets.