DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos is urging New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife.

Human contact with wildlife can carry unintended consequences detrimental to the creatures people are intending to help.

Commissioner Seggos said:

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, New Yorkers are spending more time at home than normal and some are seeing more young birds and other wildlife as a result. At this time of year, people are more likely to see a young rabbit or a recently fledged bird in their yard and mistakenly think it needs help to survive. I encourage you to enjoy encounters with wildlife from afar and avoid approaching or touching the animal. Remember, if you care, leave it there.

During the spring months, animal sightings and encounters are common. While most young wildlife learns survival skills from one or both adult parents, some receive little or no care. Often, wild animals stay away from their young, especially when people are present.

The DEC would also like to remind people that young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is illegal and harmful to the animal. For more information, contact the DEC Regional Wildlife Office.

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