Providing care for wild animals is dangerous, illegal

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Watching wildlife is a really fun and exciting activity. It can be very enjoyable to watch wildlife in their natural state in our surroundings. This time of year can be especially exciting because the young wild animals can be seen.

If we are outside, we may come across young wild animals that appear to be abandoned or orphaned. The big question is what should we do about it?

First and foremost, do not bring the animal in your home for care. This may be the worst thing you can do for these young animals.

Young animals that appear orphaned or abandoned are not generally.  In most cases, the animal’s parents are nearby and waiting for you to leave the area.  Many different species of wildlife will leave their young for several hours and return for short periods of time.

Wild mother rabbits, for example, will leave their young during the daylight hours, and only come back to feed the wild bunnies about twice a day.  At about 15 days old, wild bunnies are weaned and eating on their own.

Young deer, called fawns, can often be found alone because they do not flee from danger until about 14 days old. Like with rabbits, deer will leave their young and come back to feed twice a day.

Providing care to wild animals is illegal unless you have state and federal permits. Young wild animals need very extensive and specific care. For example, some hatchling birds require feedings every 15 minutes for 14 hours a day with very specialized food.

If you suspect a young wild animal has been injured, abandoned, orphaned or even sick, do not immediately try to capture it. Instead, monitor the animal from a distance. A young animal that looks well-fed with bright eyes and clean fur or feathers is probably not orphaned and not in need.

If you suspect the animal does need care, contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and let conservation officers and wildlife biologists handle the animals.

It is for your own safety that we stress caution around wildlife. Wild animals have the ability to carry diseases, as well as injury you and themselves if you try to handle them.

For more information on wildlife, contact your Carroll County Cooperative Extension Service at (502) 732-7030.


Carroll County Fair

The Carroll County Fair is currently underway, and it has been a busy week in the exhibit hall and 4-H livestock barn. 

We also have animals on display in the white-roofed barn, including a goat milking demonstration each night.

The following livestock shows are still to come:

June 12: 4-H/Open Sheep Show. Weigh-in, 4 p.m. Show, 6 p.m.

June 13: 4-H/Open Poultry Show. Coop-in, 4 p.m. Show, 5 p.m.

June 13: 4-H/Open Rabbit Show. Check-in, 6 p.m. Show, 7 p.m.

June 14: 4-H/Open Goat Show. Weigh-in, 4 p.m. Show, 6 p.m.

June 15: 4-H/Open Horse Show. Check-in: 5 p.m. Show, 6 p.m.


Christin Herbst is the Carroll County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to Christin.Herbst@uky.edu.