Baby Animals - If You Care Leave Them There

BabySkunkIt is not uncommon this time of year to stumble upon a baby animal in your yard, or while out exploring in the woods.  Many people assume these little critters have been “abandoned” by their Moms.  This is often not the case!  While we (people) may have the best intentions in mind, taking a baby animal out of the wild and trying to care for it, is often the worst thing for the animal. 

Moms tend to tuck their babies into secluded areas while they go out to feed.  Since babies are too young, slow, and immobile in the beginning to tag along, Mom must leave them behind.  This does not mean she will not be back for them!  Often she will be gone for an hour or two, and then will return to check in. 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) usually receives calls every year about baby animals that have been found.  Here are the answers we usually give to people who want to help these little critters:

  • Do not touch, move or handle the baby animal,
  • Keep domestic animals away from the baby animal,
  • Do not try to give the baby animal food (many people try to give baby animals milk, however they are not capable of digesting lactose, and this could kill them),
  • Do not call DNR unless a baby animal has been abandoned for 48 hours. 

So please do what’s best for the wildlife and “if you care, leave them there!”