Springtime is Wildlife Breeding Season, and Illinoisans are Encouraged to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Spring is a busy breeding season for wildlife, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reminds Illinois citizens not to bother or handle baby birds and other young wild animals. Wildlife biologists are often contacted during the breeding season by well-meaning people who believe incorrectly that they may be protecting young wildlife by taking possession of baby birds, rabbits, fawn deer, and other animals that may appear to have been abandoned or orphaned. In most cases, these animals and birds are still being cared for by their parents, which likely stay away from dens and nests if people are nearby. The Illinois Wildlife Code provides legal protection for wildlife. It is against the law to keep wild animals as pets, or to raise wild animals believed to have been abandoned.  Additionally, responses by agencies like the IDNR to incidents involving wildlife can be costly to taxpayers. Anyone with questions about care for possibly abandoned wildlife can contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. To learn more about potential wildlife conflicts, and keeping people, pets and wildlife safe, visit the new Wildlife Illinois website at https://www.wildlifeillinois.org/. The IDNR urges everyone to enjoy wildlife by observing, but not interfering, and by leaving wildlife in the wild

 

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