With wild baby animals popping up everywhere lately, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reminds you to leave the animals where you find them and take steps to keep animals from taking up residence in or around your home.
"If you find a baby animal that appears to be abandoned," said Steve Pozzanghera, WDFW wildlife program deputy assistant director, "leave the animal where you found it. Many times, the mother is nearby leading predators away or waiting for you to leave."
Pozzanghera said that when people take a wild animal into captivity, they endanger not only themselves, but the animal as well.
"Animals that are taken from the wild have a poor chance of surviving," Pozzanghera said. "and since it's against state law to take wildlife into captivity, those who do can face substantial fines.
If you find a baby animal that is unattended for more than 24 hours, call your local WDFW office for a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators."
Pozzanghera also says if wildlife is found in unwelcome places, such as under porches, in garages or in yards and gardens, there are safe steps that can be taken to discourage them.
"Wild animals are drawn to places where they can easily find food and water, so be sure to keep pet food inside, and to secure garbage and compost containers. Fallen fruit from trees is especially attractive to opossums and raccoons. Gardens, chickens, and ornamental fish are also sought after food sources," Pozzanghera said.