AUGUSTA, Maine — Wildlife is very active during the late spring and summer, and it’s common to come across baby fawns, moose calves, fox, raccoons and other young wildlife in fields, woodland areas and even backyards.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says, “If you care, leave them there.” If you encounter wildlife anywhere in the Maine outdoors, remember this motto. Wild animals and birds do not make good pets, and it’s 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 you do, you may worry that it has been abandoned by its mother. It probably hasn’t. The mother-young bond in mammals and birds is very strong; and most likely, mom is just searching for food to sustain her young.
The best thing you can do if you come across a healthy young animal or bird is leave it alone; and if you have pets, put them inside or on a leash so they don’t disturb the young wildlings, department officials said.
For information on specific species or what to do if a you have observed a young wild animal alone for more than 48 hours and believe it truly may be orphaned, visit mefishwildlife.com/livingwithwildlife.
What if the animal appears injured? If you encounter an injured deer, bear, moose, or turkey, please contact a MDIFW biologist or game warden. For all other species, please contact a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator.