OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Spring has sprung! Which means many wild animal babies are making their debut in the world. It may be tempting to try to help young wildlife that appears in need – but officials say you may do more harm than good.
“Seeing baby animals is great, it’s a real treat but when humans intervene, the ending is often not good for the baby animal,” said Micah Holmes with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Holmes says your first instinct when you see a baby animal alone is to give nature some human nurture – but sometimes the best of intentions end up being the worst of ideas.
“The best mother for a baby animal is that baby’s mother – not us, not even a wildlife rehabilitator,” said Holmes.
In some cases, animals – like deer – will leave their young alone intentionally.
“She is putting that in what she thinks is a safe space,” Holmes said. “She is going off to feed and to make milk for that baby and will come back and get that baby later.”
Holmes says it’s very rare to find situations in which human intervention should be an option.
“If there’s some kind of extreme case where you know the mother is absolutely injured or dead, you can call a wildlife rehabilitator and get their advice on what to do,” said Holmes.
He advises people in most cases to take a picture, observe from a distance and get out of there.
“Just leave it alone,” Holmes said. “Get your cats and dogs away and just let nature do its thing. The mother is probably very close by and observing you and as soon as you’re gone, she’s going to come in and take care of her baby.”
The wildlife department has a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators you can contact if an animal is seriously injured.
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