Don’t Fawn Over Fawns

Lake FX Deer_062713_0958

Maybe it’s the spots. Or the cute faces. Or those wobbly legs. There’s just something so sweet about baby deer that it brings out the protective instinct in humans.

Unfortunately, too much fawning over fawns can be harmful to them.

April through July is the peak time for births among the white-tailed deer in Virginia, and you may run across a young deer bedded down along a trail or curled up in your backyard that appears to be abandoned. Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist Katherine Edwards warns: “If you see a fawn that appears abandoned, leave it alone.”

Back Yard Fawn 034In almost all cases, fawns are only temporarily left by their mothers for protection and don’t need any help from you. Edwards explains, “People don’t often see that mother deer return at dawn and dusk to move and/or nurse their young. Keep children and pets away and give the fawn space to allow the doe to return to its baby.”

Don’t be a fawn “kidnapper!”

If you or someone you know has already handled or “rescued” a fawn, return it immediately to the exact place where you found if less than 24 hours have passed. Its mother will be looking for it.

Do seek help if you see a fawn that is showing obvious signs of injury or distress. Call on the experts if you see a fawn that is wandering and crying incessantly, has swollen eyes, has visible wounds or broken bones, or if there is a dead lactating doe nearby. If you see these signs, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, veterinarian or the Animal Protection Police for further assistance and instruction.

If you have questions about whether an animal needs help, contact the professionals. Call the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline toll-free at 1-855-571-9003, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or search online to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator,  The Fairfax County Animal Protection Police can be reached through the police non-emergency line at 703-691-2131.

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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