Big Bear Valley, CA, April 16, 2012, 3:00pm – Spring is here and deer, bears, birds and other wildlife are busy caring for their newborn offspring. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) recommends that people leave young wildlife alone if they see them in the outdoors. The improper handling of young wildlife is a problem in California and across the nation, most commonly in the spring. People frequently encounter young wild animals and assume they need assistance or have been orphaned. However, in most cases neither assumption is true, and the animals should be left alone. Once a wild animal is separated from its mother, it can lose its ability to survive in the wilderness. The same danger applies to most animals, including bears, coyotes, raccoons and most birds. Disease is another reason that wild animals should never be handled. Wild animals can transmit diseases to humans, and the animals can also carry ticks, fleas and lice. The responsibility for intervention should be left to the Department of Fish & Game. It is illegal to keep orphaned or injured animals for more than 48 hours in California. People can call a rehabilitator, who will determine whether there is a need for a rescue. For more information on wildlife rehabilitation, visit

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