Missouri Dept. of Conservation reminds the public to leave baby animals alone

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 1:52 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2023 at 4:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Newborn animals are appearing as spring continues, and while they are cute, the Missouri Department of Conservation wants to remind you to leave them alone.

Many people assume newborn animals left alone have been abandoned, but that is rarely the case. Even if it seems injured or afraid, it’s best to let the mother care for her young as nature intended.

“You have not saved orphans. You have actually created orphans by taking them from parents that were caring for them in the way that you know, instinctively, they know how. And it’s often the best way,” Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation said.

Contrary to popular belief, the human scent does not deter mothers from their young. That being said, you should refrain from touching wildlife. Wild animals can transmit bacteria, parasites, and diseases.

Some animals, like rabbits, can die from the mere stress of being handled. When in doubt, distance yourself and your pets from the wildlife and give the mother space to return. If you want to help wild animals, instead of touching them, look out for them.

“Do all you can to keep cats away from it, to keep dogs from that area,” Skalicky explained.

He added that social media often makes it seem like humans can raise newborn wild animals, but rarely does the average person have the supplies and knowledge needed for survival.

Even if an animal is injured, Skalicky urged people to let nature run its course. If the animal can recover on its own, it can and will without any intervention.

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