Saskatchewan reminds people to avoid caring for young injured, orphaned wildlife

The Saskatchewan government is telling people in the province to leave young injured or orphaned wildlife alone. Michael King / Global News

The Saskatchewan government is reminding residents to leave young wildlife alone as more and more people are outside with spring upon us.

Young animals such as duckling, rabbits, songbirds or fawns will be quite visible, says the province, and well-intentioned people sometimes interfere with their natural habitat.

The Ministry of Environment’s message to the public is to stay away and no touching.

Read more: Salthaven West wildlife rehab experiencing busy season during Sask. spring

“Trying to help wild animals that appear orphaned, or lost, is often detrimental to their health and safety,” the province said in a release Tuesday. “In nature, young animals and birds are purposely placed into seclusion by their mothers to protect them from predators.

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“In the majority of cases, these young animals are not abandoned or deserted, and the mother is watching nearby.”

The province says chances for survival decrease by a lot when young animals come in contact with people.

“The best thing to do is to leave them alone and enjoy the animals from a distance,” the province said. “Young wildlife should only be picked up if the parent is found dead nearby, or in an unnatural situation such as a young songbird found on a doorstep.

“In that case, the young bird could be moved to the closest suitable habitat.”

Read more: Wildlife ‘kidnapping,’ mistreatment, causing capacity problems at Regina’s Salthaven

The province says only wildlife rehabilitators are licensed to care for orphaned and injured animals.

“They are trained to make sure animals are given appropriate care and nutrition to help improve their chances of survival when they are released back into the wild,” the province said.

“People are also reminded to steer clear of adult wildlife, such as deer or moose that sometimes wander into urban areas. Large crowds will stress the animals, which could lead to a potentially dangerous situation.”

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The province says if anyone comes across an injured or orphaned animal to contact the ministry at 1-800-567-4224 or by email.

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