Last night I was walking my dog and I noticed something moving around in the distance. As I got a little closer I realized it was an animal that looked lost and alone. As my eyes started to focus, the little guy ran across the street and off into the woods. It was a young fox pup!

Was he in danger? Where was his mom? Should I have tried to help the cub? According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) you need to resist the urge to help baby animals. If you care, leave them there.

96.9 WOUR logo
Get our free mobile app

The DEC is urging New Yorkers to not disturb fawns, bunnies or other young wildlife. You could actually cause them much harm and you might even be breaking the law if you touch them.

Most people think the baby animals we see are abandoned but typically they are not alone, they are purposely left there by their parents to keep them hidden from predators. Take a fawn for example, which are born this time of year, they spend most of their first several days lying still, alone, in tall grass. Fawns should never be picked up.

Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash
Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash

This is the time of year New Yorkers are more likely to see young or newborn animals in their yards and mistakenly think these animals need help, The recently fledged birds or baby rabbits in your yard likely have parents hiding nearby keeping an eye on their offspring. Please resist the urge to touch these wild animals and instead enjoy the encounter from a safe distance. - Commissioner Seggos

The DEC reminds the public that keeping wildlife in captivity is illegal and harmful to the animal. Wildlife rehabilitators are the only people legally allowed to receive and treat distressed wildlife. If you observe wildlife that appears to be sick or behaving abnormally you should contact your regional DEC wildlife office.

10 Exotic Animals You Can Legally Have as Pets In New York

Looking for an exotic pet in New York State? Here are 8 animals you can legally have.

The Most Dangerous Animals In New York State

The most dangerous and even deadly animals and insects in New York State.

Animals in Which Rabies is Most Commonly Found

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in North America rabies is most commonly found in bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and mongoose. It is also found in cats, cattle, and dogs. The CDC says that rabid bats have been found in every state except for Hawaii. Rabid mongoose have been found in Puerto Rico.

Rabies is easily transmitted from animals to other animals, including human beings. Human cases are rare in the United States, but deadly if not caught in time.