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Leave Wild Animals in the Wild

fox pup photo

What's Wild?

A wild animal is an animal that is, well, wild. This means that it isn't tame and it lives on its own without any help from people. A wild animal finds its own food, shelter, water and all its other needs in a specific natural habitat. Habitat can be a field, woods, pond, wetland, prairie, park, or your yard. Wild animals make their home in both the city and the country. Wildlife includes small critters that you can only see through a microscope to animals as large as whales! (Although, you won't find any whales in Wisconsin.)

Time for Baby Animals

In the spring and early summer you might discover young animals in the wild. They are often cute, helpless and seem friendly. It might look like the animals are abandoned or orphaned, but the parent is usually around. Adult wild animals leave their young in hiding for a short time while they search for food. Sometimes a wild animal is scared away from its young, but it will return to feed or care for the young animal once danger has passed. This can happen anywhere, even in your backyard. The baby rabbit or young robin you find in your yard has a mother somewhere close by.

phesant chicks

If you see or find a baby animal, it is best to leave the area quietly to let the adult animal return as soon as possible. If you know that the young animal is orphaned because the adult animal has died, leave it alone and tell an adult. Adults can contact professional wildlife staff to learn what to do. Remember: wildlife belongs in the wild!

Here are some wildlife tips.

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  1. Tell an adult if you see an animal that you think is hurt or you know is orphaned. Adults can contact the DNR or an authorized wildlife rehabilitator to receive instructions.
  2. Enjoy wildlife in their natural habitat by being quiet and still.
  3. Use binoculars and cameras to get up close to wildlife with your eyes from a safe distance!

stop sign
  1. Do not take wild animals out of the wild & do not try to move young animals into your home or to another location. It is against the law to keep wild animals without a special permit. Wild animals are unpredictable and can be dangerous to people.
  2. Do not touch or pick up an animal; especially if they look sick or hurt.
  3. Do not let your pet near a wild animal. Pets can get infected with some wildlife diseases.
  4. Do not feed wildlife any human food. Animals can get sick by eating the wrong foods.
  5. Do not chase or disturb wildlife in their den, nest or habitat. You or the animal can get hurt.

Wildlife is awesome and wonderful - in the wild!



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