Spring has arrived, and there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the outdoors. Take a hike, cast a line, or pitch a tent, but whatever you do, be sure you don’t disturb young wildlife. If you encounter young wildlife while enjoying the outdoors, you may want to help or “save” it somehow. But Calvin W. DuBrock, who directs the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to leave young wildlife alone.
“Rest assured that in most cases, the young animal is not an orphan or abandoned and the best thing you can do is to leave it alone. While it may appear as if the adults are abandoning their young, in reality, this is just the animal using its natural instincts to protect its young. Also, young animals often have camouflaging color patterns to avoid being detected by predators.”
DuBrock noted adult animals often leave their young while the adults forage for food. Also, wildlife often relies on a natural defensive tactic called the “hider strategy,” where young animals will remain motionless and “hide” in surrounding cover while adults draw the attention of potential predators or other intruders away from their young.
Photo by: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife