At this time of year, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is reminding citizens to leave young wildlife alone that they may encounter. It’s illegal and harmful to take them from their mothers, officials say.
While you may believe you are helping an animal by “rescuing” it, you may be doing more harm than good.
White-tailed deer, rabbits, and other species of wildlife leave their young for extended periods of time each day, only to return to care for them later.
If you discover a young mammal or bird, you should not handle it and should keep children and pets away from it. Staying away from the young animal reduces stress on the animal and increases the likelihood that the mother will return to care for it.
Unless the wildlife is obtained from a legal source and a Captive Wildlife Permit is obtained in advance, Kentucky Administrative Regulations prohibit holding native wildlife as a pet.