Wildlife experts in northwest Florida are urging people to leave the antelope alone

White-tailed deer fawn in full swing in the Florida Panhandle, which means wildlife rescue organizations are inundated with the calls of presumably abandoned young deer.

But instead of trying to “rescue” a fawn, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission And the Alaqua animal shelter I say the best thing to do is leave her alone.

For the first few weeks of an antelope’s life, an antelope hides its offspring and then travels to a safe distance to prevent its scent from attracting predators to the young animal’s hiding place. You will return twice a day at dusk and dawn to nurse and care for dawn.

“Other times, they’d be out looking for food, or far enough away, so if a predator was attracted to them, it wouldn’t be able to detect where the antelope is,” said Shelby Broy, director of wildlife at Alaqua Animal Refuge.

A group of elk rehabilitated by the Alaqua Animal Refuge explore their enclosures.  At least three elk have likely been mistakenly taken from their mothers - a growing problem across the state.

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While in hiding, the antelope may remain motionless as a survival mechanism to deter predators. This can sometimes lead to the mistaken belief that the antelope’s lack of movement means it is sick or injured and prompt them to remove the animal to help it.

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