Adorable baby animals that look ‘abandoned’ don’t need your help. Here’s what to do

Spring is in full swing, which means you probably have a good shot at spotting adorable baby animals outdoors.

It also means wildlife agencies are already fielding calls about “abandoned” baby animals, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish said in an April 26 Facebook post.

Instead of intervening, you should keep these tips in mind:

  1. Leave baby animals alone, even if it seems as if their mom abandoned them. “Its mom will be back soon to take care of it,” officials said in the post. “Babies are often left unattended to keep predator’s attention away from it.”

  2. An exception to this rule is if you find a baby bird that does not have feathers. It likely fell out of its nest, officials said. In that scenario, simply find the nest and put the baby bird back inside.

  3. Baby birds that have feathers and are hopping along on the ground are called fledglings, and they’re learning to fly, officials said. It’s best to leave the little fledglings to their flying lessons.

  4. If you do somehow confirm mom is not nearby or is not returning for her young, and you’re taking the baby to a rehabilitation specialist, do not give the animal food. “Their digestive systems are very sensitive and require certain foods,” officials said. “Feeding it can make it sick or worse, cause death.”

  5. It’s important to keep pets, especially cats and dogs, away from baby animals until mom comes back or you’ve placed a baby bird back in its nest. “Dogs and cats have strong predatory instincts,” meaning those hunting instincts could kick in, and they might go after and kill the baby animal.

  6. Lastly, if you encounter a baby animal that is hurt or sick, call your local wildlife rehabilitation center or the nearest fish and game office.

Otherwise, enjoy this special season by seeing the adorable babies from afar, or check out the cute photos in the post.

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