Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials remind public to leave young wildlife alone |

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials remind public to leave young wildlife alone

Kyle McCabe
Sky-Hi News
A group of young foxes spot a wildlife photographer.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy image

As spring comes in earnest across the state and wildlife encounters become more common, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are reminding the public that they should leave wildlife alone — even the young animals.

A Parks and Wildlife news release states wildlife will be more visible in backyards, open spaces and trails through the end of June, a trend that correlates with increased visits and calls to officials from people reporting that they have rescued a young animal.

Unfortunately, “rescuing” a young animal is often worse for the animal than leaving it alone. Parks and wildlife states that people essentially kidnap orphan animals when they take them to a Parks and Wildlife office or to their home to try to care for them.

If someone encounters a young animal, the best thing to do is leave it untouched in its natural habitat. People should not approach, touch or feed wild animals, but they should enjoy wildlife from a safe distance and keep their dogs on a leash.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials ask that people call their local parks and wildlife office to get guidance if they find a wild animal that appears sick or injured. Keeping your distance is always the best option, as trying to touch or feed wildlife could cause the animals to become aggressive or lead to diseases transferring from the wildlife to the human or vice versa.

If you find a baby bird that has fallen out of a nest, Parks and Wildlife has guidelines for what to do:

  • If it is a nestling baby bird (eyes closed and featherless) and you can easily see and safely reach its nest, it is OK to put that bird back into the nest but wear gloves and a mask to prevent transmission of diseases between you and the bird.
  • If you find a fledgling bird (eyes open, feathered, can hop around but cannot fly) on the ground, do not pick up that bird. The parents will continue to care for it on the ground and it will soon be able to fly. Keep cats inside to prevent them from killing birds. 
  • If you find a sick or dead bird, do not touch the bird. Please contact Parks and Wildlife to report the sick or dead bird.

For more information about how to help young wildlife visit

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