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When It Comes to Young Wildlife, If You Care, Leave It There

Photo by ljmacphee,Flickr

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is reminding everyone that, when it comes to young wildlife, remember the motto, “If you care, leave it there.” Maine’s wildlife mothers will often leave their young alone for hours at a time, while they go hunting for food. But they will almost always come back.

Wildlife is active this time of year, so it isn’t at all unusual to come across baby fawns, moose calves, robins, raccoons and other young wildlife in your backyard, or while out hiking. Although the animal may look vulnerable, it’s actually just fine.

The IF and W’s Doug Rafferty says, “Especially moose, bear, and so forth, don’t get between the young one and the mother because, that’s going to result in something that nobody wants.” Not only could the mother get aggressive, but animals carry diseases like rabies that could be deadly.

If you come across a healthy young animal, leave it alone. If you have pets, put them inside your home or on a leash so they don’t disturb the young ones. And if you do think an animal has been orphaned, please call an IF and W regional biologist to alert them to it.

Sometimes it’s necessary to move nests with babies, like squirrel or birds nests. Rafferty says, again, it’s best to contact an expert and let them handle it safely and efficiently. For more information on how to deal with young animals, log onto the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s website.

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