In the next several weeks, wildlife throughout Wyoming will be bearing their young. In light of this, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department asks that people take extreme care to stay away from young animals during this critical time. Game and Fish cautions against picking up newborns because of potential harm to the animals and issued a reminder that picking up game animals is against the law, regardless if people think the animal has been abandoned by its mother.

According to Game and Fish, state and federal laws prohibit the possession of game and many nongame species. The best option for people who come across newborn wildlife is to leave the animal alone. Game and Fish wildlife managers say that most animal mothers hide their young and return periodically to feed them or to nurse. People finding young birds and animals often mistakenly assume that newborns have been abandoned, but this is rarely the case. The mother knows where her young are and will almost certainly return. Young birds will sometimes fall out or get pushed out of their nests before they are able to fly. The mother bird will care for the young bird while it is on the ground; bringing food and trying to protect the youngster while it is in this vulnerable situation.

Getting too close to some newborn wildlife can be very dangerous. A mother bear or moose will display very aggressive behavior when humans get close to their young. It is a good idea to leave an area immediately if an aggressive wildlife mother is encountered or if young animals are present. In the rare instance where newborn animals are encountered when the mother is known to be dead, game wardens, biologists or Game and Fish regional offices should be contacted. People should not attempt to capture these animals.

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