CPW reminds people to be cautious of newborn wildlife this time of year

Posted at 11:47 AM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 13:47:54-04

With Spring making it’s quiet debut, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it’s not uncommon to see young wildlife throughout the state.

CPW wants to remind people to leave young wildlife alone, as many birds and mammals give birth this time of year. Newborn wildlife can be seen in backyards, open spaces, along trails and even parking lots.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife receives many calls during this time of year from people concerned that young wildlife has been abandoned, as many people want to help by picking up or trying to feed the animals. CPW said people sometimes bring the baby wildlife to rehabilitation centers or CPW offices, but the animals should just be left alone and tended to by their natural parents.

Experts say that it is normal for adult animals to leave their young alone while they search for food. People are more likely to assume baby birds have been abandoned, but they are more than likely just learning to fly and are near the nest, experts said.

"Baby mammals are scentless in order to prevent predators from finding them," said Janet George, senior terrestrial biologist for CPW. "When humans touch these animals, they leave behind a scent their adults will not recognize or may even fear. This can result in true abandonment of healthy offspring.It is best for people to leave them alone."

Baby birds don’t have a high developed sense of smell, so they can be picked up and moved out of harm’s way if absolutely necessary. But raptors, owls and other territorial birds have been known to fly at people in protection to their young, according to CPW. 

Again, CPW wants to remind people not to encounter any young wildlife in yards, or trails, to just leave the animal where it is. Deer found in backyards are often brought to wildlife offices, but not to worry they haven’t been abandoned, so people are asked to leave them be.

According to a release, if 24 hours pass and the parent doesn’t return, or the animal seems hurt, it is a possibility the parent may not return due to death. In that case, people can then call the nearest CPW office and they will determine the needs for the animal.

Lastly, it is illegal to feed or own most wildlife in Colorado, as there is a huge difference between wildlife and domesticated animals. So CPW says despite people’s good intentions, ‘adopting’ a wild animal will rarely have a positive outcome.

For more information on living with wildlife, click here