DNR Cautions Against “Rescuing” Wild Animals


DNR officials caution well-meaning citizens not to “rescue” seemingly helpless, abandoned baby wild animals they find while enjoying the outdoors. A wildlife information specialist with the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife says many animals leave their young alone while searching for food and come back to them throughout the day. Michelle Cain adds that picking up animals can be harmful to both animals and people, and removing animals from their natural habitat is illegal. If you believe an animal is truly abandoned or injured, Cain says you should call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or DNR Law Enforcement. They are reachable 24-hours a day at 812-837-9536. If a bird has fallen out of its nest, Cain says it’s OK to gently put it back. If you’re unsure if an animal is orphaned, check on it periodically. If you’re still unsure, place some strings or sticks across the nest. If they are disturbed, it’s a good sign that the mother returned.