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Baby wildlife: Be aware and hands off

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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It is that time of year again when wild animals are having their babies. Most wildlife females hide or stash their young in order to search out food, and they expect their babies to be there when they get back. Please don't pick up wildlife babies that you think are abandoned, they likely are not.

Remember that wildlife mothers defending their babies can create dangerous situations, if we get too close. Do not approach a wild animal, especially if it has young with it. And, do not approach young animals you think might be orphaned a protective mother may be watching you.

Recently, a man in the McTucker Creek area near Springfield was kicked in the back by a cow moose while he was picking watercress in the creek. It is likely that this cow moose had a calf with her or hidden nearby, and feeling threatened, she struck this person who was not even aware that he was "intruding." Once he was kicked, the man dove straight into the creek and moved quickly away from the moose, exiting downstream. His quick thinking prevented him from sustaining severe injuries, and he will make a full recovery.

This incident reminds us that all wildlife can be dangerous at times. When we enter their habitat, we need to be extra aware of our surroundings. Moose aren't the only animals quick to defend their young a deer or elk could also inflict injury on a person. If you see wild animals in the outdoors enjoy them at a distance. Do not approach them under any circumstances and do not pick up their babies.

If you encounter a baby wild animal you feel has been abandoned or orphaned, do not pick it up. Instead, contact the Idaho Fish and Game office in Pocatello at 232-4703 or contact your local sheriff's office.

Copyright 2012 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: June 6, 2012

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