FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Members of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service are asking the public to think twice about rescuing seemingly abandoned wildlife.
Conservation Officer Micah Kneller says that this time of year is when many deer, moose, and elk calves give birth to their young. He explained that with that increase in calves also comes an increase in animal sightings, particularly of infant animals.
Kneller says that the Conservation Officer Service has been seeing an increase recently of calls from the public that claim to have found baby animals that they claim have been abandoned, and are then picking them up and taking care of them. He says that it is actually natural for the mother animals to leave their calves and fawns hidden from predators for up to 48 hours while they go off to feed. “It’s perfectly natural for their mothers to leave them hidden for prolonged periods of time, and then they come back to them,” Kneller explained.
According to Kneller, animal rehabilitation space is at a premium in the Peace Region, and that if the public notices baby animals hidden by themselves to leave them alone and give them space. He does also say that there are exceptions to that rule, such as if the mother animal is found dead nearby.
He adds that if someone sees the same calf in the same spot a day or two later to call the B.C. Conservation Officer Service via the R.A.P.P. (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line at 1 (877) 952-7277.