This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. North Dakota Game and Fish conservation biologist Patrick Isakson talks about Baby Wildlife.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department emphasizes a simple message to well-intentioned humans who want to pick up and rescue what appear to be orphaned baby animals – don’t touch them. Whether it is a young fawn, duckling, cottontail rabbit or a songbird, it is better to just leave them alone.
More often than not young animals are not abandoned or deserted, and the mother is probably watching nearby. Young wildlife are purposely placed into seclusion by their mothers to protect them from predators.
Anytime a young wild animal has human contact its chance for survival decreases significantly. It’s illegal to take wild animals home, and captive animals later returned to the wild will struggle to survive because they do not possess learned survival skills.
The only time a baby animal should be picked up is if a young songbird is found on a doorstep. If that is the case, the young bird should be moved nearby to suitable habitat.
Citizens should also steer clear of adult wildlife, such as deer or moose that might wander into urban areas. Crowding stresses animals, and this could lead to a potentially dangerous situation.
In addition, motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways. June is one of the peak months for deer vehicle accidents because young animals are dispersing from their home ranges. With deer more active during these months, the potential for car deer collisions increases.