[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Leave Wildlife in the Wild

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

Contacts: Kelly Siciliano Carter 517-373-1263, Mary Dettloff at 517-335-3014
Leave Wildlife in the Wild
Citizens Urged to Not Handle or Adopt Young Wildlife

As summer beckons and Michigan wild birds and animals begin to produce the next generation of the state's living natural resources, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources remind outdoor enthusiasts to resist handling or adopting what appear to be orphaned baby animals. 

Wild animals are protected by state regulations and may only be kept by those who possess wildlife rehabilitation permits.
"Often people find fledgling birds or fawns, and having the best of intentions, believe they are rescuing the animal," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Kelly Siciliano Carter. "Many people do not realize that most of the time, the mother is nearby. We want everyone to enjoy their time in the outdoors in Michigan, but leave the animals in the wild."

Carter added that many biological and disease problems are associated with handling wild animals including rabies, distemper, parasites and mange. Raccoons, for example, are known to host a roundworm that can cause blindness and death in people.

It is normal for many wild animal species to leave their young unattended for hours at a time. Deer, for instance, leave their fawns for up to eight hours before returning to nurse. Taking a fawn home is illegal, and usually results in death of the animal. 

"Every day a wild animal is kept as a pet its chances of survival decline," Carter said, adding there are other ways that the public can help if they find evidence, such as a dead carcass, that the baby animal is truly abandoned. 

Citizens who have evidence a baby animal is abandoned should call the nearest DNR office. The information they provide will be investigated by the DNR, and if the animal was abandoned, it will be taken by the DNR to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.

The DNR is committed to conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


=============================================================ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"