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Leave "Abandoned" Wildlife Alone

With May and June being the peak time for Idaho's wildlife to have their young, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game offers this simple suggestion to well-intentioned people finding baby animals that appear to be abandoned: Leave them alone. Most young wildlife picked up by well-meaning, concerned citizens do not survive in captivity and have no survival skills to allow release back to the wild. "If you encounter young wildlife that seems stranded, it's best to leave it alone," cautions Jay Crenshaw, IDFG wildlife manager. "Chances are the mother is close by waiting for you to leave." Resisting the urge to pick up "abandoned" wildlife helps ensure it will remain wild. IDFG has only two alternatives when dealing with animals removed from the wild. They can attempt to rehabilitate the animal and place it back in the wild, which often fails because of the animal's unnatural bonding to people. The second choice is to place it in a zoo, where it is forever removed from the wild. It is recommended that if a small animal, such as a bird, rabbit or squirrel is found near a home, it should be placed back in the nest if possible and left undisturbed. All wild animals have a better chance of survival if left alone, than if raised in a human environment.