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Discover Nature Keep Wildlife Wild

Baby cottontail rabbits sleep in a grassy nest on the ground.
Keep wildlife wild – baby animals such as these cottontail rabbits should be left alone or returned to their nest where a parent will return. Parents are usually out searching for food and rarely abandon their young. ";

As weather warms and we spend more time outdoors, you may encounter a variety of young animals that might appear to be abandoned. This week on Discover Naturekeeping wildlife wild!


Young animals are rarely orphaned or abandoned, and if alone, a parent will usually return. Parent animals are often out searching for food and cannot constantly attend to their offspring. 


Baby birds with feathers can spend up to ten days hopping on the ground. It’s best to keep pest away from these fledglings and let them navigate their natural learning process. 


Baby rabbits are common encounters, as well. While tempting to take them in and care for them, wild rabbits seldom survive in captivity and can actually die from the fright of being handled. 


Care and rehabilitation of wild animals requires special training. They can carry parasites and disease which can pose threats to humans, and the young animals can become dangerous as they mature. 


Usually, the best help people can offer wild animals is to leave them alone and keep wildlife wild


Learn more about caring for wildlife in Missouri at MissouriConservation.org.


Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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