Newborn wildlife is irresistible, and many well-meaning people are tempted to "help" when the best thing they can do is leave the young alone and observe wildlife from a distance. 

Ninety percent of all ungulate babies are born in the last week of May or the first couple of weeks of June.  This adaption of ungulates birthing at the same time is a survival strategy called predator swamping.  When all of the wild ungulates give birth at the same time there is a greater likelihood of a larger number of survivors.   

“Young wildlife are rarely helpless or abandoned, more often the mother is only gone temporarily or is intentionally staying a short distance away to avoid attracting attention to her young,” said Dale Becker, Tribal Wildlife Program Manager.

If you do discover an apparently abandoned wild animal newborn or animal baby just leave it alone. Just touching or picking them up may cause the mother to reject them because of the human scent.  “Birds, however, cannot smell well, and fledglings may be carefully returned to their nest,” Becker said.

In some cases, the lure of having an unusual pet or the dream of taming a wild creature may be why a baby animal is taken from the wild.  This is a bad choice for the human and for the baby animal.

According to Pablo Espinoza, Chief Tribal Conservation Officer, it is illegal to possess or remove from the wild any game animal, game bird, songbird, furbearer or bird of prey, and suspects may be prosecuted for such violations.

If you find young wildlife that is orphaned because the mother was killed, contact Pablo Espinoza or Stacy Courville at the Tribal Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation, and Conservation at 883-2888.

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