Lt. Todd Bogardus, (603) 744-5470
Sgt. Bruce Bonenfant, (603) 271-3127
Mark Ellingwood (Wildlife Programs), (603) 271-2461
June 13, 2006

Do Not Pick Up Wild Animals - Leave Young Wildlife Alone

CONCORD, N.H. - If you encounter wildlife, even young animals that appear to need help, the kindest - and safest - thing to do is to leave them alone and let nature take its course, officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department warned today.

In recent weeks, many people have called Fish and Game reporting that they have taken in young animals. "Picking up animals like baby raccoons is an error in judgment, mainly because the threat of rabies in the state is so high," says Fish and Game Lt. Todd Bogardus. "People think they're doing a good deed, but they are removing the animal from the care of its parents and exposing themselves to the risk of disease. What's more, these actions may result in the animal being euthanized for rabies testing."

The best chance a young wild animal or bird has to survive is in its natural environment, adds Fish and Game Wildlife Programs Administrator Mark Ellingwood. "Give wildlife plenty of space and leave them alone and in the woods, where they belong."

Note that it is ILLEGAL to have in your possession or take any New Hampshire wildlife from the wild and keep it in captivity. Only qualified people with a special rehabilitator's permit, issued through Fish and Game headquarters, may take in and care for injured or orphaned wildlife.

For a list of licensed New Hampshire wildlife rehabilitators, please click here.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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