Newborn wildlife – look but don’t touch

Photo of a black bear cub in a tree

When you see a baby bear, mom is almost always nearby – act accordingly.

As the weather warms ups, Albertans often head outside to enjoy nature and view wildlife. Seeing animals in their native habitat can be fun and educational – but it’s important to get the low-down about the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of wildlife watching before you go.

In late spring and early summer, Environment and Parks typically receives many inquiries from concerned Albertans reporting baby animals who appear to have been lost or abandoned by their parents. Although it might look like these young have been left to fend for themselves, this is usually not the case. Mothers often leave their young alone for short periods of time – many baby animals, like fawns, have no scent and predators have trouble finding them.

When you see newborn wildlife that appear to be alone, do not approach or touch them. Handling causes animals stress and can put their lives at risk. It might also put you in danger –  if you try to approach moose or elk calves or bear cubs, you may be charged or injured by a protective mother.

The best thing to do when you see young wildlife is to leave them alone – their mothers will soon be back to feed and take care of them. If you know of a baby animal that has been left on its own for more than one day, report it to your local Fish and Wildlife office – find the phone number for the office nearest you using this link.

Photo of a mother duck and ducklings in the water

Don’t touch or move baby animals – mom will be back to take care of them soon.

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