DNR advises staying clear of wildlife

Staff Reports

Whether they are baby birds or other young wildlife, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources urges humans not to interfere with the process mothers in the wild use for raising young.

Good intentions may result in misreading the situation. This time of year is a common period where wildlife species give birth, but if a person comes across birds in a nest without the mother around, it does not mean the young are being ignored.

“Parents often leave young unattended for long periods of time to gather food and may only return a few times a day,” an IDNR statement notes.

If the nest or den is not guarded by an adult, it is premature to judge that young have been abandoned.

It should be noted that a parent may be hesitant to approach a nest or den if a human is present. People are advised not to linger at unattended sites like these.

The department also recommends strongly against individuals handling young species.

“Human scent is unlikely to cause parents to abandon their young,” said the agency, “however, handling young wildlife and disturbance of a nest can alert predators to the young animal’s presence.”

Young animals that are scared might also strike out and bite or scratch a person and can transfer diseases or parasites to humans or their pets.

While in certain circumstances it may make sense for people to rescue wildlife in distress, they are not allowed to keep them. A bird or animal removed from the scene must be handed over to a wildlife rehabilitation site within 24 hours.