With many animals bearing their young during the warm summer months, the Wyoming Game and Fish is asking people to stay away from young animals they encounter.

Robin Kepple, Information Specialist with the Game and Fish, says that it is not uncommon for people to approach and even pick up and take home young animals thinking they are abandoned. She says that even though people are trying to do what’s right for the animals, they are often doing more harm than good.

“The parents the majority of the time are nearby and watching the baby. So when we go in and pick them up and take them in the house and think that we are helping them, a lot of times what we are doing is taking them away from their parents.” Kepple says.

Officials say that it is very rare that a young animal is actually abandoned. In fact, many animals actually hide their young and return periodically to feed or nurse them, so it is almost certain that they will come back.

Animals like deer, antelope, birds, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks will often have their babies around this time of year. Kepple says that while people know it can be dangerous to approach a baby moose or bear, often people don’t realize that approaching seemingly harmless animals can lead to injury. Animals like deer and birds are often not seen as a threat, but they will do anything to protect their babies and could injure people while trying to keep their young safe.

While many adults know not to approach with wildlife, it is not uncommon for children to bring home baby animals like birds and rabbits. Kepple says that if such a thing does occur, it is best to bring the animal to the area in which it was found so that it can be reunited with its mother. She adds that the common belief that animals will be rejected by their mother if they have human scent is actually a myth.

In the rare instances that an animal is known to be abandoned, or the mother is known to be dead, people are asked not to touch the wildlife and to call the Game and Fish Department immediately.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department can be contacted in Laramie at 307-745-4046.