The best thing you can do for them is to leave them be. | Idaho Fish and Game photo
IDAHO FALLS — Spring has finally come to eastern Idaho. If you’re fortunate, you may see young wildlife during the spring and early summer months.
In fact, there’s a “pretty good chance” that you’ll see a baby animal that is seemingly alone, with no mom in sight, according to Idaho Fish and Game.
The department recently published a warning to leave these cute little creatures alone.
“Fish and Game officials have a simple suggestion to people who discover baby animals that appear to be abandoned: The best thing you can do for them is to leave them be,” said the news release from the department.
People mean well, the department said, but “rescuing” baby wild animals you assume are lost, abandoned or orphaned often does more damage than good.
“Typically, mom was not far away to begin with,” Fish and Game said.
“When it comes to wildlife babies, wildlife mothers know best,” the release said.
For example, deer, elk and pronghorn often leave their young in a secure location and then move off to feed. Sometimes, they don’t return for several hours. That doesn’t mean the baby is in danger.
Idaho Fish and Game photo
“The young animals know instinctively to remain still in the places their mother left them,” the release said.
Likewise, baby birds will often leave the nest “in their efforts to hone their flying skills.” Their parents will continue to feed them until the young birds can survive on their own, even if they fall out of the nest.
What to do
If you find a baby bird, duckling, deer fawn or other critter, Idaho Fish and Game has this advice: leave it undisturbed. If you wish, contact your nearest Fish and Game office.
Idaho Fish and Game photo
“Fish and Game employees are happy to take calls about apparently orphaned or injured animals, answer questions and — when necessary — retrieve animals,” according to the news release.
Never plan to raise wild animals on your own.
“Young wild animals require special care and feeding that is beyond what the average household is prepared to manage,” the department said. Besides that, it’s illegal in Idaho to have most species of wildlife, even if you’ve “rescued” them.
If you’re lucky enough to observe a nest of birds or a litter of young mammals, “enjoy the sight, but remember it is best to leave young wildlife alone.”
Idaho Fish and Game can be reached by calling (208) 232-4703 for the Southeast Region or (208) 525-7290 for the Upper Snake Region.
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