It's the time of year when baby animals, such as fawns, fledglings, and fox cubs, are being left by their mothers, and Conservation Officers remind us to leave them alone.

"It is quite common where the public will see a fawn lying in a field somewhere and think that it's been abandoned or think that the mother is dead, and pick it up and bring it in, and, in reality, what has actually happened is, the doe has actually left the fawn alone until it is big enough to travel with her and one of the reasons they are left alone is to keep from predators," explained Lindsey Leko, Conservation Officer with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.

Leko said while the public will often try to help these baby animals, they are not helping. So the best course of action is to leave it alone unless there is a reason to intervene.

"That fawn will just sit in the field, and the mother will leave it early in the morning, and it's not going to make any sound," he said. "So if it's in distress, it's going to make constant sounds, like crying or some type of bellering or something like that."

He said other signs of distress include being wet, shivering, being covered in insect eggs, visible signs of trauma including blood, or even something as benign-seeming as the animal laying on its side.

"They don't normally lay on their side. They're normally laying on their stomach with their legs folded underneath," said Leko.

Another reason to contact Conservation Officers is if you see a coyote stalking the fawn.

"Otherwise, people should just leave them alone, because it takes a lot of care and know-how to look after a fawn deer, especially one that's been born in the last couple of days."

Generally, if you find a baby animal and you're unsure of whether it needs help, Leko said to take a picture and call the TIPP line at 1-800-667-7561.

"The Conservation Officer will get a hold of you right away, and we can direct you to what the best course of action would be, even by taking a picture of it and we can give you some direction or even the name of an actual animal rehab person who will come out and deal with it," he said.

If a doe has been hit by a car, and it's obvious the fawn is orphaned, the COs would make arrangements to have a licensed animal rehabilitation person take custody of the fawn.

"At the end of the day, we want to ensure the animal is released back into the wild, to ensure that it receives its medical care, and we also want to ensure that it's getting the proper feed," said Leko. "I can't tell you the number of times people have brought in an orphaned fawn with a bag of grass. They're not going to eat a bag of grass. It's not the feed they need. These certified animal rehabbers are trained and have the equipment and the facilities to look after them properly and then eventually they'll release them back into the wild."

Of course, the 'cuteness factor' makes people think they should raise found fawns, but this is illegal.

"They're nice and cute when they're small, but eventually they grow up a little bit, and they get a little bit rammy once the rut comes, and it's not a good situation."

He said the chances of success the fawn would have been reintroduced into the wild is very low, due to the mother not being able to teach it any skills for feeding or avoiding predators.

Many species give birth to their young in the spring, including vector species like raccoons, skunks, and the red fox.

"The red fox, they're cute when they're young, but they're carriers of rabies, so they should be left alone," Leko cautioned.

Birds, in particular, don't just leave their babies, they throw them out of the nest, so they can learn to fly.

"The mother will actually kick them out of the nest," he noted.

"They spend a good amount of their time on the ground, strengthening their wing muscles until they're able to fly, so just because you see a fledgling on the ground doesn't mean it's in distress or anything like that."

He advises if you see a fledgling, keep your pets away from it, and let nature take its course.