Associated Press Published

Authorities Warn Against Handling Wild Animal Babies

Baby Bear

West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources is urging people to avoid getting close to young wildlife for the welfare of the animals and themselves.Baby Bear

Tyler Evans, a wildlife biologist, says handling baby animals leaves behind a human scent that may attract predators and potentially exposes people to wildlife-borne diseases and parasites like rabies, ticks and lice.

Each year, the division says its offices around the state get many calls about young wildlife picked up by well-meaning humans who mistakenly assume that a bedded fawn, for example, has been abandoned when no mother is in sight.

Young animals typically are hidden while adults search for food, which can last for several hours.

According to the division, state law also prohibits possessing wild animals without a permit.