This time of year, sightings of white-tailed deer fawns, fledgling birds and other young critters becomes common. In most cases, the young animal is simply “spreading its wings” and exploring, or mom simply left it to get something to eat. Fawn deer are programmed to hide and remain motionless while mom is away. The fact is wildlife rarely abandons their young. They may leave briefly only to return.
Remember that you should never handle wild animals unless absolutely necessary. Any animal can bite you, and many harbor diseases and pests that can be transmitted to people.
In Indiana, wildlife rehabilitators have necessary state and federal permits to house and care for sick or injured wild animals. If you think you have found a sick or injured animal, you can find a list of licensed Wild Animal Rehabilitators in your area on the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Mammals of Indiana, J.O. Whitker and R.E. Mumford
Common Indiana Mammals, R.N. Chapman and R.N. Williams, publication number FNR-413-W
Indiana DNR Orphaned and Injured Animals
The Education Store (search keywords to find the resources you need)
Brian MacGowan, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University