Just the other day I noticed something dart across the driveway and duck under our porch. Once he peeked it's head out and I realized it was a baby bunny. You know how you see a stuffed animal in the store and you have to touch it on the way by? That's is what I wanted to do with the bunny. Resist the urge!

You could actually cause much harm to baby bunnies, fawns and other young ones in the wild. You might even be breaking the law if you touch them.

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When we see a wild baby animal alone in the woods the instinct is to want to help it. It must be abandoned right?  According to New York State DEC officials, human interactions with wild animals can do more harm than good, so they are asking 'If you care, leave them there,".

Most young wildlife are likely not lost or abandoned, but purposely left there by their parents to keep them hidden from predators. Take a fawn for example, which are born this time of year, they spend most of their first several days lying still, alone, in tall grass. When encountered people tend to mistakenly assume it has been abandoned. If human presence is detected by the doe, the doe may delay its next visit to nurse. Fawns should never be picked up.

Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash
Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash

The DEC reminds the public that keeping wildlife in captivity is illegal and harmful to the animal. Wildlife rehabilitators are the only people legally allowed to receive and treat distressed wildlife. If you observe wildlife that appears to be sick or behaving abnormally you should contact your regional DEC wildlife office.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in North America rabies is most commonly found in bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and mongoose. It is also found in cats, cattle, and dogs. The CDC says that rabid bats have been found in every state except for Hawaii. Rabid mongoose have been found in Puerto Rico.

Rabies is easily transmitted from animals to other animals, including human beings. Human cases are rare in the United States, but deadly if not caught in time.

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