Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges residents to leave young wildlife alone |

Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges residents to leave young wildlife alone

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging residents to leave young wildlife, like this fawn, alone.
Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

While residents in Summit County and around Colorado continue to socially distance themselves from one another, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking everyone to take a similar approach to the area’s wildlife.

Spring has arrived, and with it residents will likely see an abundance of new, young wildlife emerging around the state. As animals continue to become more visible on trails, open spaces and residential areas, parks and wildlife is warning everyone to keep their distance.

Every year the agency deals with a major uptick in calls and office visits from concerned residents saying they’ve rescued a young animal who was abandoned by their parents. Though those “rescues” are likely doing considerably more harm than good.

“Young wildlife has the best chance of survival when they are left in the care of their wild parents,” said Shannon Schaller, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s senior wildlife biologist. “People mean well when they take wildlife from the wild, but removing young animals improperly from their natural habitat is often the wrong thing to do.”

According to the agency, young animals are prepared by nature to survive without human intervention, and learn healthy instincts to help eventually distance themselves from their parents. Human interaction with animals can sometimes cause a stunting of their growth, lead to mothers rejecting their youth and other harmful effects.

Anyone who sees an animal in danger should call his or her local parks and wildlife office so that a trained wildlife officer can handle the situation.  

Officials emphasized that interacting or feeding wildlife can also be illegal, in addition to creating undue hardships for wildlife officers trying to avoid any unnecessary in-person interactions.

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