Wisconsin DNR hosts online chat about keeping wildlife wild

The Wisconsin DNR hosted an “Ask the experts” online chat on its website Thursday afternoon to talk about wildlife and ways to keep them safe.

The DNR said in most cases, it’s best to keep wildlife wild.

A woman named Anne joined the chat and said she was walking on her property and came across a fawn. She didn’t touch it, but wondered how to tell if it’s orphaned.

“If you find a fawn that is lying down alone and quiet, the mother is still nearby,” wrote DNR Wildlife Biologist Mandy Kamps. “She does not stay with her fawn all the time because their best protection from predators is to lay still and blend in with their environment. If a fawn is walking around and crying for more than a couple hours, then it may be orphaned.”

The DNR added that most mammals, including cottontails, fox and raccoons will leave their young alone while they are out foraging for food.

If you come across turtles or ducks in the roadway, Wisconsin DNR Conservation Warden John Sinclair said “if you feel an animal is in danger of being hit on a roadway, it is okay to attempt to ‘herd’ the animal off the roadway. A turtle may be picked up and moved to the side of the road they were travelling to.”

However, Sinclair advised your safety is most important, so you should be extremely careful when walking in the roadway and when handling any wild animal.

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