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File | Trey Waring

Baby wild animal: If you care, leave it there

Statement as issued Wednesday by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife:

People who encounter young wildlife such as a fawn or rabbit should leave the animal alone and avoid attempting to “rescue” it, according to the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

April to July is the peak season for people to see baby animals in Indiana.

Often animals leave their young during the day to look for food or to deter predators. People often mistake the animal as abandoned when, in fact, it is being properly cared for by its mother.

Even if you think the animal is injured, you still should leave it be. It’s best to let nature take its course. If you feel compelled to intervene, you should call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. It’s illegal to keep a wild animal without the proper permits and training. Most people are not trained in animal nutrition, nor do most people know how to raise a wild animal without it developing a dependence on humans.

A list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators and their phone numbers is at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/5492.htm.

White-tailed deer have babies through mid-June. If you find a fawn, give the animal distance and do not disturb it. The mother will not return if you are present, which may delay nursing for a hungry fawn.

Remember, if you care, leave it there. In almost all cases that is the best thing for the animal. Wild animals are not pets. These animals may carry diseases and are not suited for captivity.

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