Leave wildlife babies alone; THEY’RE NOT ABANDONED

Situation 1: You’re out for a walk in the woods admiring the beauty of nature when you
spot something lying motionless next to a log. The muted colors catch your eye and as you
continued to look at what you’ve found, the form of a tiny fawn begins materializing in your
You stand for a moment, pondering what you’ve found but also something in you kicks
in. This poor baby deer has been abandoned or either its mother has been the victim of an
accident. Since you’re the one who discovered this tragic situation as a caring human, you must do something, but what?

Do you call a wildlife official to report my disturbing findings or is it your responsibility now to take matters into my own hands, rescue the tiny baby deer and bring it home? You can’t just leave the poor thing there alone to be attacked by a predator or to slowly starve to death.

Situation 2: You have been watching the bird box in your yard as a pair of blue birds
have taken up residence and you have been gratified when peeking into the box to find a
beautiful sky-blue egg and on successive days another and another until a clutch of four eggs is being nurtured and tended to by parents.

A week goes by and then another until one day your visit to the box reveals four tiny little
blind and featherless babies with mouths agape as you peer inside. There is such a feeling of accomplishment on your part at having been host to another batch of these beautiful birds being residents of your yard.

One day as you walk out to check the box, you find something disturbing. The nest is
empty except for one little fellow fluttering along the ground unable to fly. What do you do? Should you try to catch and rear the unfortunate little one, put it back in the box or what?

In both cases, according to Wildlife Biologist Melissa Collins who manages nuisance and
wildlife captive programs, you should back away and let nature take charge.

“These are animals doing what nature intends. The parents are almost certain to know
exactly where their babies are and will care for them.”

“In the case of fawns, the mother will nudge the baby to lie down quietly until she returns. When you find the fawn, chances are that the mother is nearby, she knows you are there and will stay away until you leave,” said Collins.

“In the case of finding a baby bird fluttering along the ground or clinging to a low branch,
the parents know where the little one is and they will continue to feed it until it is strong enough to gain its wings,” she said.

“People often think its their job to pick up what they think are abandoned baby animals
and birds and either try to rear it themselves or call one of our offices to come take it.
You can call any one of our Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries field offices
for advice. In cases where a little animal or bird has mistakenly been picked up, there are
licensed wildlife rehabilitators who are there for the purpose of taking care of and tending them until they can be released back into the wild and we have a listing of certified rehabilitators in your area,” said Collins.


The best thing to do is to leave them alone when you find them, maybe take a photo if you like but leave it to nature to take charge.”


CANEY LAKE – The crappie are around shallow brush during the spawn while some have
already spawned and are moving out. Shiners and jigs are taking some fish. Bass are moving to the beds with crank baits, plastic frogs and topwaters taking some fish. The bluegills and
chinquapins are beginning to show up around shallow spawning areas with worms and crickets beginning to take some nice fish. No report on catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Fishing has improved. Bream are starting to bite around the beds. Crappie
are fair to good around the trees on shiners or jigs. No report on bass. Contact Honey Hole
Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river is still fairly high but crappie fishing has been good mostly in
the river lakes on jigs and shiners. The bass are improving in the river lakes. Bream are just
beginning to bed. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – The bass are improving with best catches being made around trees and shallow brush as the fish are moving in to spawn. Spinners, crank baits and soft plastics are starting to pick up some nice bass. Crappie have moved in for the spawn with some fish already spawned out. Fishing is fair on shiners or jigs. The bream are starting to bed around the lake and can be caught on worms and crickets. Catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing has been fair to good on shiners and jigs with some
caught around shallow spawning areas while others have moved back off to deeper water. Yo-yos baited with shiners taking lots of fish at night. Some are also being caught at night fishing shiners around the lights. Bream fishing is improving with fish moving into the shallows around the lake. Look for the bass to be moving with the back of the coves to spawn. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good on cold worms. Crappie fishing has
slowed down as the spawn is about over. Bass are fair and the bream are moving to the beds. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The water is back to pool stage. Catfishing is good while others are slow.
For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a slow fall with access to the lake improving. Fishing
should be really good as the lake levels continue to fall. For information, call Surplus City
Landing at 318/467-2259.

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