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Experts Warn People To Leave Baby Wild Animals Alone

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Spring means there are a number of new baby animals in the great outdoors.

But experts warn that it's not a good idea to try to care for any animals you assume have been abandoned.

Dr. Marcie Logsdon from WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital says it's common to find creatures like baby bunnies or deer that have been left intentionally by their mothers:

“The parent or mom tries to hide her babies as best she can, and then leave them alone for huge chunks of the day where they only need care once or twice a day form mom. And the rest of the time mom is trying to stay away so shes doesn't draw attention to the babies, so she doesn't draw predators to where she has the babies.”

Logsdon says trying to care for some creatures at home can often backfire: 

“One is there are some diseases that wildlife can carry, that if you were in close proximity to them and didn't know what kind of precautions to take, if you were trying to handle these animals in your home, that you might unintentionally be exposing your pets or kids to. “

The animals can also lose out on specific survival techniques that their mother will teach them, and not survive if released later into the wild. In addition, there are state and local laws against raising wild animals in a domestic setting.

Logsdon recommends contacting the local Washington Fish and Wildlife office or the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Pullman if you come across a baby animal that you think might have been abandoned. She says there is also specific information the Fish and Wildlife website about such cases.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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