INDIANAPOLIS - State officials want to remind you not to play the hero if you encounter wild animals that seem to need help this summer.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said this is the peak season for running into white-tailed deer fawns.
"If you come across one that appears to be abandoned, the best thing to do is leave it alone," DNR officials wrote.
The DNR said a mother deer frequently leaves its fawn during the day. It does this both to look for food, and to deter predators from finding the fawn, as fawns emit nearly no scent.
"People often mistake a fawn as abandoned when, in fact, it is being properly cared for by its mother," the DNR said.
Here are some tips if you encounter a fawn out in nature this season:
- Give it distance. The mother will not return if you are around, which could delay nursing for a hungry fawn. Most often, the mother will return at night or when no predators are near by, and they do consider humans to be predators.
- Leave it alone. Even if you think the animal is hurt, you should still leave it alone. The DNR said it's best to let nature take its course. "Wild animals are not pets. They may carry diseases and are not suited for captivity," the DNR said.
- If you feel the need to step in, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator - don't try to take it home with you. Here's a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
Buses called after Polar Express derails
The popular holiday Polar Express train was derailed Friday night after two wheels detached mid-trip.
$39M settlement reached in fair stage collapse
A $39 million settlement was reached Friday with the families of victims of the 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse.
Franklin Co. Nativity to stay up for Christmas
A federal judge in Indianapolis will decide if a Nativity scene on a southeastern Indiana courthouse lawn will get to stay.
Jacob Sexton Act becomes law
The parents of an Indiana National Guardsman who took his own life while home on leave from Afghanistan spoke Friday about a new law named…
Escapee caught after 22 years living in Kokomo
A man who escaped prison in 1992 has been found living under an assumed name in Kokomo.
Noblesville HS teacher under investigation
A teacher at Noblesville High School was being investigated after accusations of "inappropriate conduct with a minor student," a school…