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


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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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