NMGF Reminds Public: Leave Young Wildlife Alone

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Remember – young wildlife are simply hiding while awaiting their parents’ return from foraging nearby.Courtesy/NMGF

NMGF Reminds Public: Leave Young Wildlife Alone

SANTA FE ― As summer approaches, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMGF) again reminds the public to leave alone deer or antelope fawns, elk calves, bear cubs and other wild animals they may encounter.

Remember – young wildlife are simply hiding while awaiting their parents’ return from foraging nearby.

Removing these young animals can cost them their lives, NMGF Deer and Pronghorn Biologist Orrin Duvuvuei warns. “You might think it has been abandoned, but in reality, the mother is typically a few hundred yards away,” Duvuvuei said. “In most cases, the best thing to do is just leave it alone and quietly leave the area.”

“Returning a young wild animal to its natural environment after it’s been carried off by a human can be very difficult and may not work in many cases,” Duvuvuei said.

When encountering young wildlife, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not approach. Its mother is likely close by and aware that you are in the area;
  • Leave the area quickly and quietly;
  • Observe the animal from several yards away. Typically, wildlife babies that appear to be dry have bonded with their mothers, and you can safely take their pictures from a safe distance, but don’t linger in the area or touch the animal; and
  • If you think the animal has been abandoned, if possible mark the location using a GPS and contact NMGF at 888.248.6866.

For more information about living with wildlife in New Mexico, visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.