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DENVER (KDVR) — Springtime in Colorado sees plenty of young wildlife in open spaces, backyards, parks and trails. Protect these young animals by leaving them in the wild, Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges.

Concerned about wildlife that may seem to be abandoned or injured? Call the Denver CPW headquarters at 303-297-1192 or any CPW office. Do not approach, move, or feed the animal. 

“What humans might misinterpret as ‘abandonment’ is actually wild animals living a healthy, wild life,” said CPW District Wildlife Manager Katie Doyle.

“Young wildlife are frequently left alone in a safe location while adult animals search for food. It’s also common for baby birds to sit outside of their nest as they grow bigger and learn to fly. Humans should not approach baby wild animals, because the mother is probably nearby and might attack if she thinks her young are in danger.”

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

“Last year, we saw an increase in reports of people feeding animals by their homes and the animals becoming sick or aggressive,” said Karen Fox, CPW wildlife pathologist.

“We want to remind people that under Colorado law, feeding wildlife is illegal because it puts an animal’s health and safety in danger.”

CPW recommends being aware of nesting wildlife and animals coming out of hibernation. Give all wildlife a lot of space, keep dogs leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails and do not feed or remove young animals from their natural habitat.