Deer, moose and elk are “hider” species, meaning the female will often hide her young in vegetation during the first two or three weeks of its life while she is off feeding. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Deer, moose and elk are “hider” species, meaning the female will often hide her young in vegetation during the first two or three weeks of its life while she is off feeding. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

What do you do if you find baby wildlife all alone?

They’re cute and might be by themselves, but it doesn’t mean they’re abandoned, conservation says

With each spring, new life is welcomed into the Northwest B.C. region, and residents may notice young elk, moose and deer in the backcountry and sometimes near their homes.

Skeena Region Conservation officers have been receiving calls from the public saying they have found and picked up abandoned fawns and calves — but getting involved may be doing more harm than good.

“We encourage people to not approach young or baby wildlife,” says Scott Senkiw, North Coast conservation officer. “Typically the mother is very nearby.”

Deer, moose and elk are “hider” species, meaning the female will often hide her young in vegetation during the first two or three weeks of its life while she is off feeding. The female will then return several times a day to feed and clean her young.

READ MORE: As bears emerge from hibernation, conservation officer reminds public to be aware

A moose calf can be especially dangerous to approach, as moose cows can be quite protective of their young and may become aggressive if they feel their calves are threatened.

If there is a baby wild animal that is believed to be abandoned, for reasons like if their mother is found deceased or there is an obvious injury, the best thing to do is call the conservation office for advice, Senkiw says.

Though one exception does apply for baby birds — if one has fallen out of its nest, gently return it if it’s safe and an active nesting site is obvious.

“Their best chance for survival is to remain in the wild. The common misconception is that in the wild, a mother bird will reject a baby if it is handled by a human,” he says. “This is not true, but a mother may not return if people or pets spend too much time in the area.”

Another tip is to slow down while driving on roads and highways and watch for wildlife, Senkiw says. If you see any wildlife in a ditch or near a highway, reduce your speed and anticipate the movement of that animal, or others of its kind, onto the highway.

READ MORE: Terrace conservation service seeing an increase in bear sightings

Bottom line? Resist the urge to handle wildlife, big or small. If in doubt, contact the Conservation Officer Service’s call centre at 1-877-952-7277 RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters).


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Over 8000 BC Hydro customers have been affected by the power outage. (BC Hydro outage map)
Power outage affects 8000 BC Hydro customers in Prince Rupert area

BC Hydro has assigned crews to restore power

Josie Pottle rocks out to placing painted rocks by more than 14 different Prince Rupert childcare organization staff and tots for rock gardens around the city to mark May as Childcare Awareness month. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Childcare month is rocking it in Prince Rupert

More than 14 local childcare organizations participated in making rock gardens

Volunteers at the AFFNO drive-in movie theatre night at the Jim Ciccone Centre on May 8, directed traffic and braved the rain before the movies started. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
It was lights, camera, action for AFFNO’s drive-in movie night

Volunteers and moviegoers watched a double feature in both official languages

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal has entered into a one-year agreement with Mitsui & Co. for the majority of its production for supply to the Asian markets, Pembina announced on May 6th. (Photo: Supplied
Prince Rupert Terminal highlighted in Pembina first quarter

Pembina announced one-year agreement with Mitsui & Co. to supply Asian market

Happy Mother’s Day on May 9th.
Millar Time

A mother’s moments

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

Most Read