Pratt It's common to encounter young wild animals, especially in spring and summer. Some people have an irresistible attraction to these young animals and want to take them home.
But every year, the lives of young wild animals are needlessly jeopardized by well intentioned people who take them from the wild in the mistaken belief the animals are abandoned or orphaned.
In truth, rescuing wildlife from the wild often results in the death of the animal.
There are a variety of problems and health hazards, to humans and animals alike, when people try to adopt a cottontail, fawn or other young animal.
All of these problems and hazards can be avoided if people follow one simple rule when coming upon young wildlife: leave them alone.
Here are five good reasons to leave young wildlife alone:
1. They're not abandoned. Bird and animal mothers will often leave their young while they search for food during the day.
2. It's illegal. Both the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have regulations against such activity. Fines can be up to $1,000.
3. They may carry disease. Even though they may look cute and fuzzy, wild animals carry a number of potential health threats.
4. They're not pets. Although young animals may be cute, they are wild animals.
5. Good intentions can be deadly. Many animals taken into captivity soon die. Those that don't are denied the opportunity to learn how to survive in their natural environment, so they seldom develop the skills necessary for them to survive when they are eventually returned to the wild.