TPWD: Wild animals are okay to look at, but don’t touch

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said Friday that during summer months, it’s not uncommon to see what could appear to be an abandoned fawn or fledgling birds who tempt well-meaning people to assist.

TPWD experts said in a press release that such animals should be left alone.

Some species, the release said, including snakes, birds and deer are normally highly active in the summer and are seen more frequently. Because of recent rainfall in the state, there could be increased sightings of displaced wildlife in the areas that have flooded but if left alone, they will return to their natural environment once water levels recede.

Young birds can be found out of nests seemingly unable to fly. If the bird’s eyes are open and it has a coat of feathers and is hopping around, experts at the TPWD wildlife information center say, it is probably fine. Grounded fledglings will typically be up and flying within a few days.

With fawning season underway, some fawns could appear to have been abandoned when their mothers leave for hours, only returning to nurse their offspring. Sometimes these fawns are picked up by well-meaning individuals, thinking they have been left behind by their mothers. Experts say this is rarely the case.

TPWD says that a fawn should only be picked up if they are observed with fire ants covering them or are otherwise seriously injured. If the fawn is in need of assistance, call TPWD’s information line at 512-389-4505 during business hours for a referral to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

After-hours calls should call the TPWD dispatch line at 512-389-4848.

For more information, go to tpwd.texas.gov.