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This fawn was released by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on June 14.

In the past week, state wildlife officers have seen a “sad parade” of orphaned fawns — baby deer taken from their mothers by people who found them and mistakenly believed they had been abandoned.

In the most recent case, Colorado Parks and Wildlife attempted Wednesday to leave the fawn where it had been found alone in hopes its mother would return.

Hours later, the agency tweeted a photo of a different fawn that had almost suffered the same fate.

“It is NOT abandoned. Do NOT pick it up. Do NOT feed it. This fawn was nearly orphaned today in #ColoradoSprings by people who refused to honor our plea: #LeaveBabyWildlifeAlone,” read the tweet.

Parks and Wildlife frequently gets calls about baby deer being found. The recommendation biologists give is to leave the animal alone. If a fawn is by itself and appears healthy, it’s very possible the mother deer is not far and has left it in a place it can return to.

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“Admire it from afar,” said Sarah Watson with CPW. “Respect it’s space and you won’t have any issues.”

In the past week, wildlife officials have seen the twin tolls from vehicles hitting the animals as they crossed roads and misguided rescues.

On Friday, a fawn was brought into the southeast region’s office after its mother and twin were killed by a car. The fawn was taken to the nonprofit Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation in Wetmore.

Another fawn brought in the same day had suffered a head injury from being hit by a vehicle.

“Quickly filling up and soon we’ll have no place to send them,” read a tweet from Parks and Wildlife.

A third fawn was picked up by someone Friday thinking it was abandoned. It’s a common mistake, yet a deadly one.

Baby deer aren’t the only animals to be accidentally harmed when removed from their habitat. In May, Parks and Wildlife tweeted that a baby raccoon had died after being dropped off in the agency’s parking lot.

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Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in environment and outdoor recreation. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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