Newborn Wildlife Best Left Alone

Newborn Wildlife Best Left Alone
Newborn Wildlife Best Left Alone
Game and Fish and the employee’s at Sportsmen’s Warehouse have been working together to return the fledging owls to safe spaces as they develop their ability to fly.

CASPER — Every spring brings an array of newborn wildlife to Wyoming, and the Game and Fish wants to remind people to leave these newborns alone and walk away for the animals’ sake.

“People start bringing in young cottontail rabbits, songbirds and even fawns every spring,” Casper Wildlife Biologist Heather O’Brien says. “People become distressed seeing a young animal by itself and believe they are helping.  While their intentions are good, the reality is they may do more harm than good.”

People finding young animals often assume these newborns have been abandoned, but this is almost never the case. Most wildlife mothers hide their young and return periodically to feed and care for them. The mother knows where her young are, and will almost certainly return.

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“This year in Casper we have great-horned owls that have nested close to Sportsman’s Warehouse.  As the owlets learn to fly many people are encountering them on the ground in the parking lot.  Don’t worry, mom is close by watching, but the process of learning to fly for these birds often takes weeks,” states O’Brien.

Game and Fish and the employee’s at Sportsmen’s Warehouse have been working together to return the fledging owls to safe spaces as they develop their ability to fly.  “They are essentially like teenagers learning to drive – it takes them a while to hone their skills.  As soon as they are capable, the adults will lead them to quieter places around the neighborhood,” adds O’Brien.

Sportsman’s Warehouse Manager Miles Bundy says “It has been great to see wildlife around the store; both customers and employees have enjoyed seeing these birds up close.”

No one likes to see an animal suffer, and we at the Game and Fish will take action if needed.  However, the vast majority of the time, the best solution is to leave the young animals alone. Keep your pets away from them and talk to your children about not picking up young wildlife.