Unfortunately, well-meaning people can do more harm than good if they try to care for young wild animals they feel are abandoned or in need of help.

Animal sightings and encounters are common during the spring. Young wild animals can quickly enter the world wobbly or unable to fly on their own. While most young wild animals learn survival skills from one or both parents, some receive little or no care. Often, wild animals stay away from their young, especially when people or pets are present. For these young animals, the danger of survival is a natural part of life in the wild. Unfortunately, well-wishers may try to care for young wild animals they feel are abandoned or in need of help. These human interactions often do more harm than good.

Admire wild animals from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or pick them up
Human-wildlife contact can lead to unintended consequences that adversely affect the very animals that people intend to help.

If they appear sick or behave strangely, Contact Your DEC Regional Wildlife Office
Remember, young wild animals are not pets. Captive wild animals are illegal and harmful to animals. Wild animals are not suitable for captivity and may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

If they are visibly injured or orphaned, Call Wildlife Rehabilitation
Wildlife rehabilitators are trained volunteers licensed by DEC. They are the only people legally allowed to receive and treat stranded wild animals. They have the experience, expertise and facilities to successfully treat and release wild animals.

Keep pets indoors when you have young animals
Many chicks are flightless when they first leave the nest, making them easy prey for house cats.

for More information and FAQs about young wild animalsVisit DEC’s website.

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