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Outdoor news

MDIFW: If you care, leave them there

By Staff | May 14, 2020
Courtesy of: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife A calf moose.

Augusta — Wildlife is active during the late spring and summer, and it is common to come across baby fawns, moose calves, fox, raccoons and other young animals in fields, woodland areas, and even backyards.

If you care, leave them there

If one encounters wildlife anywhere in the Maine outdoors, remember this motto: If you care, leave them there. Wild animals and birds do not make good pets, and it is against the law to possess them without the proper state and federal permits.

Picking up young wildlife might seem like the right thing to do; but in most cases, wildlife has a much better chance at survival when not disrupted by humans.

Is it an orphan?

It is common to see a young animal alone in the outdoors, and when one does, one may worry that it has been abandoned by its mother. It probably has not. The mother-young bond in mammals and birds is strong; and most likely, mom is just searching for food to sustain her young.

The best thing one can do if one comes across a healthy young animal or bird is leave it alone; and if one has pets, put them inside or on a leash so they do not disturb the young wildlings.

For information on specific species or what to do if one has observed a young wild animal alone for more than 48 hours and believe it truly may be orphaned, visit

What if the animal appears injured?

If one encounters an injured deer, bear, moose, or turkey, contact a MDIFW biologist or game warden. For all other species, contact local licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

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