Pine, Arizona – Last week, an Arizona homeowner encountered a rather unusual visitor on their porch. According to the Arizona Game & Fish Department, a mother elk had left her calf on the Pine resident’s doorstep.
Fortunately, the residents did the right thing and left the calf alone, choosing to call wildlife officials for advice about the proper way to handle the situation. The agency explained what happened:
Although calves are usually left in a more natural setting such as a grassy meadow, the responding AZGFD Officer jokes, “Mom left it there for ‘daycare’ in the early morning, and came back to pick it up after lunch”
The agency used the rather comical situation to remind everyone that calves should be left undisturbed if they are found alone, explaining the problem with reuniting calves who have been moved by people with good intentions:
It is usually difficult to reunite them with their parents in these cases. In addition, a cow elk watching from a distance may become aggressive when defending her young, which can quickly put those with good intentions in danger.AZGFD urges Arizonans to leave baby wildlife – including elk calves – alone.
Advising of the proper protocol if an animal is sick or injured:
If you encounter an animal that appears to be sick or injured, is unresponsive or lethargic, please contact your nearest licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility or call your local AZGFD office first.