CDFW Reminds the Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

I’ve heard several stories about people making pets of fawns. All of them have turned out poorly. Fawns are cute and fun when they are very little.

As deer mature, they eventually become unmanageable. On one occasion, a friend of mine had a pet deer that was so unafraid of people that he let a stranger put him in his car. That mistake surely came back to haunt the deer-napper and probably led to the deer’s demise.

A pet buck becomes dangerous as it matures. Deer are best suited for a life in the wild and losing their fear of humans is usually a fatal flaw. They do not need personal attention from people.



Fawn in grass Fawn in the wild

Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion, CDFW Wildlife Biologist, (530) 357-3986
Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962

During spring wildlife are busy attending to their new offspring, foraging food and expanding their habitat. During this season of rebirth, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds people to leave young wildlife alone if they see them outdoors. The improper handling of young wildlife is a problem in California and across the nation, especially in spring.

“Many people don’t realize that it is illegal to keep California native wildlife as pets,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide coordinator for wildlife rehabilitation. “Never assume when see young wildlife alone that they need assistance. Possibly, the mother is simply out foraging for food. If you care, leave them there.”

A healthy fawn may lay or stand quietly by itself in one location for hours while its mother is away feeding. Once a fawn…

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