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If you encounter 'abandoned' baby animals, Idaho Fish and Game says it's best to leave them be

Animals sometimes leave their young alone for a long period of time for numerous reasons, but IFG says young animals know instinctively to stay where they are.
Credit: Idaho Fish and Game
Photo of a baby deer.

BOISE, Idaho — As the spring season continues, young wildlife may begin to roam across the outdoors without their mothers. While instincts may encourage you to rescue the seemingly abandoned babies, Idaho Fish and Game (IFG) is encouraging people to leave them alone.

IFG receives numerous calls each spring from well-intentioned people who have "rescued" baby animals that are seemingly lost or abandoned. IFG knows these individuals have the best of intentions but wants to reiterate that removing baby animals from their habitat often does more damage than good.

Animal parents will sometimes leave their babies alone for an extended period of time for a number of reasons, from searching for food to diverting the attention of predators from their vulnerable offspring. 

IFG said wildlife mothers know best when it comes to their babies, and young animals know instinctively to stay where they are until their mother returns.

Baby birds will sometimes leave their nest when attempting to fly. Adult birds will continually return to the nest to feed their offspring until they can survive on their own. If you approach a baby bird, duckling or any other small animal, contact Fish and Game and an employee will answer questions and retrieve the animals if necessary.

IFG also advises against attempting to raise wild animals on your own. Young animals require special care and feeding beyond what the average human household can manage. In addition, having most species of wildlife in your possession is illegal in Idaho.

Idahoans are encouraged to visit local and state parks and enjoy the sights, but it is best to leave young animals alone.

For more information, click here.

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