Our friends at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are a little frustrated by this and asked if we would send out the reminder again.

They also want people to know that they are not a drop box for wildlife. FWP is receiving calls from people who have picked up deer fawns, young birds or other newly born wildlife. It’s important to remember that FWP no longer accepts, holds or rehabilitates moose, deer, elk and most other animals. Diseases (such as Chronic Wasting Disease) are a concern when moving moose, deer and elk, and rehabilitating fawns and calves is often unsuccessful because the animals become quickly habituated to people.

If you see a young animal, whether a goose or a grizzly, keep your distance and leave it alone. Handling them can be dangerous, and usually once they are picked up by people they can’t be rehabilitated. Just assume that, while maybe not visible, mom is probably nearby. Leave it there. It’s natural for deer and elk to leave their young alone for extended periods of time. What appears to be an orphaned animal likely is not.

What else can you do? Keep your dog under control. Pet owners can be cited and dogs that harass or kill wildlife may by law have to be destroyed. And you can also keep in mind that it is illegal to possess and care for a live animal taken from the wild.

Again, please remember, should someone bring a baby animal from the wild to FWP, they'll be asked to take the animal back to the site where it was found.  If the animal can't be returned, it may need to be humanely euthanized. As they like to say, "If you care, leave them there."


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