Colorado Parks and Wildlife is partnering with the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association to remind residents to keep wild animals wild and leave young wildlife alone.
As wildlife becomes more visible, CPW and local parks receive an increase of office visits and calls reporting “rescued” young wildlife that appeared “abandoned” by adult animals.
Although reports are made with good intentions, young animals do not need rescuing and are prepared by nature to survive without human intervention.
Young animals learn healthy instincts in the wild and gain confidence over time to slowly distance themselves from their parents. People who feed, touch or remove wildlife from their natural environment are actually causing them harm and stunting their growth. This can also lead to mothers rejecting their young and creating a truly harmful situation for young wildlife.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important now than ever to not feed or touch young wildlife. CPW resources that may normally be available are not during this outbreak, and handling animals may lead to them being rejected by their parents with no rehabilitation alternative. Conflicts with animals may result in hospital visits for injuries or rabies exposure, or create unnecessary in-person interactions.
If an injured animal is in physical danger, call the local CPW office. Do not move the animal. CPW licensed wildlife officers are trained to properly handle wildlife and seek medical attention for the animal if needed.
Under Colorado law, feeding wildlife is illegal because it puts an animal’s health and safety in danger.
For more information, visit www.cpw.state.co.us.