The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

April 20, 2013

DNR says leave young wildlife alone

Each spring, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officials work to remind people to leave all young wildlife alone.

“The spring season is the time of year when the woods and fields of West Virginia are full of new life,” said Gene Thorn, wildlife biologist at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek.

“People have a great opportunity to view and enjoy young wildlife during this season, but it is especially important for the public to understand the need to avoid touching or disturbing these wild animals.”

Attempts to “rescue” young wildlife are often counter-productive, according to Thorn.

People can increase the chance of harm to young animals by getting too close, officials warn.

Humans leave scent that may attract a predator, according to officials.

“Wildlife viewing is an enjoyable and perfectly acceptable activity;” however, state Division of Natural Resources staff recommend the pastime be conducted from a safe distance and with the aid of binoculars.

“In addition to being detrimental to the welfare of young animals, handling wildlife potentially may expose humans to various wildlife-associated diseases, parasites and other health-related risks,” Thorn emphasized.

“Rabies, roundworms and other parasites such as lice and ticks can be transmitted to humans through the improper handling of wildlife.”

-----

The Wildlife Center as well as DNR offices across West Virginia receive numerous calls each year concerning young wildlife, especially fawn deer that have been picked up by well-meaning residents.

“Many people often mistake a bedded fawn, with no mother in sight, as abandoned, but that is usually not the case,” according to officials.

Offspring are often hidden while the adult goes in search of food, and this separation may last for a few hours or all day, according to a spokesperson.

The spotted pattern and coloration of fawns as well as the lack of scent make these young animals difficult for predators to detect.

If a predator approaches a fawn, the young deer will normally hold very still until the threat passes, the spokesperson explained.

The fawn will wait until the very last moment before fleeing to safety if discovered by a predator, according to officials.

The doe will come back to check on her fawn at feeding time.

“Hiding the fawn and leaving it while the doe searches for food is an important survival tactic,” Thorn said.

“Humans are poor substitute parents for wild animals, because young wildlife require special diets and learn survival skills from their parents,” Thorn explained.

Removing the young wildlife from its natural environment almost certainly leads to death of the animal.

-----

Additionally, officials caution, state laws prohibit the possession of wildlife without a permit.

“Under any circumstances, when you pick up a young animal in the wild you have taken it into your possession,” according to officials.

The fines for illegal possession of a fawn deer, black bear cub, baby raccoon, squirrel, or any other species taken or possessed during the closed season range from $20 up to a maximum of $1,000 and/or up to 100 days in jail.

“We want everyone to enjoy wildlife in West Virginia,” Thorn said. “For your own health and safety and to protect the wildlife, remember these wild animals should be left alone and allowed to stay wild.”

— E-mail: mcbrooks@register-herald.com

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • W.Va., 11 other states, ask Supreme Court to declare new EPA rules illegal

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Friday that West Virginia led a bipartisan group of 12 states that are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to declare illegal a settlement agreement in which the EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.

    August 1, 2014

  • Ebola outbreak moving faster than control efforts

    An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met Friday in Guinea's capital.

    August 1, 2014

  • Oak Hill man arrested for selling drugs to police officers

    A Fayette County man is in jail after his arrest Thursday evening for several drug offenses, according to a press release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

    August 1, 2014

  • Suspect arrested, faces felony charges following shooting incident

    A Mercer County man was arrested and arraigned on felony charges Thursday after a domestic altercation led to a shooting incident in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    August 1, 2014

  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday. The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

     

    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years.  Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day. A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.

     

    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014