Cute raccoon babies? Stay safe and leave wildlife outside

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DAP Officer Salter and Officer Kistler (with Raccoon kits Credit: DAP)

DENVER (KDVR) — Spring and summer months bring plenty of young wildlife in backyards, parks, open spaces and trails. Protect these young animals, your family and your pets by leaving them outside.

Denver Animal Protection warns residents that wild animals account for over 90% of rabies cases in the U.S. Bringing baby raccoons or any other wildlife into a home presents a serious rabies risk. Rabies is deadly in 99.9% of cases without treatment.

Young wildlife is often orphaned when people take them out of their environment. The young will not be able to return to their mothers.

Concerned about wildlife that may seem to be abandoned or injured? Contact DAP through 311 or the Denver Police non-emergency number of 720-913-2000, or call Denver CPW headquarters at 303-297-1192 or any CPW office. Do not approach, move, or feed the animal. 

Coyote pup that was reported as sick/abandoned. A DAP officer accessed the situation and decided to leave the coyote alone as it showed no signs of disease or illness (Credit:DAP)

How to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies:

  • DO NOT handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. Contact animal control for guidance.
  • Thoroughly wash any wound caused by an animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Keep vaccinations current for all dogs, cats, ferrets, and horses.
  • Maintain control of pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision when outside.
  • Teach children to leave wildlife alone.
  • Do not leave pet food in areas that are accessible to wildlife.
  • If a person or pet has been bitten by or has had contact with a bat or other wild animal, seek medical care immediately, and contact your local animal control agency. 

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