It's the season for baby wildlife to be on the landscape in the Southeast. With lots of wildlife having their young, people may be more likely to encounter a young animal, but if it looks abandoned, it likely isn't.
Ted Glass, Conservation Officer with Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, said we tend to run into baby wildlife more at this time of year because we share the same environment.
"I think every year we do get calls coming in that [people] found baby wildlife, a baby deer, a baby coyote, a baby antelope, and what should we do? What can we do to help? We stress again and again the best thing we can do, the best way we can help, is to leave the animal alone. For the most part, young animals, they aren't abandoned."
Glass explained they're simply hiding and have been hidden by their mom to protect them while mom goes out and feeds.
"Mom comes back every day just to check on them, to let them feed and then she goes back out. Mom's told them to be there, mom's told them to hide, and sometimes we come across them and we think that they've been abandoned. Our big message is just to leave that wildlife alone."
On top of that, Glass said that it's illegal to take wildlife home. There are penalties for taking baby wildlife home, and he said that humans are just not good at taking care of wildlife.
"Wildlife needs specific needs and care. We have licensed rehabilitators in the province and they are prepared and trained to properly take care of the animal. As well, to not have [the animal] become habituated or get used to human beings, because if the animal becomes habituated to human beings it doesn't end well for the animal, and sometimes not for the human being as well."
Glass said that the most important thing you can do is to leave baby wildlife alone, but there is an exception.
"However, if at some point you believe that the animal is in immediate danger, some of the things to look for are is it covered with insects? Has it been there in the exact same spot in the exact same position for maybe more than 10 to 12 hours? Is it covered with dew or rain and is it calling out? Is it crying and mom's nowhere to be found?"
Glass continued that maybe mom's there and mom's been hit by a vehicle. "Those are indicators that that animal may need advanced care. Is the animal in a bad spot? Sometimes if you run across a baby animal on your front step, that's not a good spot for wildlife. On the middle of a roadway, again not a good spot for wildlife."
In those situations, Glass said it's alright to move the baby wildlife to the edge of the road, it's okay to move it off your steps and maybe into the shrubs beside your house.
"Mom will find it, but just leaving it there would be a recipe for disaster. So those are some of the indicators. Again, I can't stress enough if we can leave wildlife alone, wildlife takes good care of itself."
Not to mention, many of these wild animals carry the same diseases that humans can get as well, said Glass. "They put our pets at risk because our pets can get those same diseases and illnesses that may be carried by the wild animal."
Anyone looking for more information can contact their local conservation officer or the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-667-7561. "That would allow the nearest conservation officer to give you a call, give you some advice, maybe come out if that's necessary."