‘I am not a pet’: ODNR issues reminder to leave young wildlife in the wild

(Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is reminding residents to leave young wild animals in the wild as part of its, “I am not a pet” campaign.

With warmer temperatures and more people enjoying the outdoors, the division of wildlife has simple advice: enjoy the animals from a distance.

“A young wild animal’s best chance for survival is with its mother. Most wildlife taken in by people do not survive, except when handled by specially-trained personnel. In many cases, a young animal collected by a person was not lost or abandoned, but was simply waiting for a parent to return.

According to ODNR, many adult animals leave their young while the forage for food or to divert attention of predators.

The division of wildlife offered a few tips:

  • Return baby birds back to their nests and walk away. Contrary to popular belief, human scent will not prevent birds from returning to take care of their young.
  • Watch out for turtles on the roads, especially during May and June when they are looking for nesting sites. If safe, you can help the turtle cross the road.
  • Keep pets under control so they don’t raid nests, and make sure they are up to date on vaccines.
  • If an animal appears injured or in severe distress, go to wildohio.gov/staywild before taking action.

More stories on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources here

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