DEM: Avoid contact with young wildlife that appears abandoned

Mother deer will bed their fawns down for rests and return for them later. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

PROVIDENCE– Although it is tempting to help a baby animal that appears alone and abandoned, the DEM is urging you to keep your distance, as such encounters could be potentially dangerous, for both the animal and you.

In a statement released Tuesday, the DEM warned specifically about baby deer and snapping turtles.

The agency said fawns are unable to follow their mother and will often lie in a curled position on the ground hidden in grass or sparse brush. The mother, always nearby, will periodically return to the fawn to visit and feed it. If you see a fawn in this position, please do not:

-Make contact with or feed the fawn. It is both illegal and dangerous to their survival.

-Wait to see if the mother returns, as they will not reveal themselves if humans are in the immediate vicinity.

If you do see an injured fawn, please report to the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife at 401-789-7481.

The DEM also warned about snapping turtles. Female snapping turtles choose warm, sunny, well-drained sandy areas to lay their eggs. These areas include gardens, compost piles, and ballfields.

If you see a snapping turtle, please do not:

-Make contact with the turtle. Snapping turtles are harmless unless they are disturbed.

-Move or handle the eggs. The eggs will hatch in August and September, and the baby turtles will head immediately for water.