CHICAGO (CBS) -- If April the giraffe has you fawning over all newborn critters right now, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources reminds you to leave wild animals in the wild.
The agency sees an uptick in calls about people finding baby animals while they're out exploring Indiana's parks, forests and trails this time of year. WBBM's Nancy Harty reports.
Urban Wildlife Biologist Megan Dillon said baby bunnies, white-tailed deer and any kind of songbird are the species that most people encounter and feel like they need to help.
She said plenty of those little ones are not abandoned, but are simply waiting for their parents to come back from foraging and feed them.
Before thinking about picking up an animal, Dillon encourages you to check if it's bleeding, cold, wet or have flies on it.
Even people trained in animal rehabilitation have challenges working with injured creatures and DNR wants the public to get comfortable with the notion that nature knows best.
It may sound cruel, but Dillon said weak animals serve as food for larger animals.
If you encounter an injured or sick wild animal, do one of the following:
–Take no action and allow nature to run its course.
–Call a licensed wild animal rehabilitator as listed at wildlife.IN.gov and click on "Wildlife Rehabilitation."
–Call the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife at (317) 232-4080.
–Call your DNR Law Enforcement district headquarters or regional headquarters; contact information is at dnr.IN.gov/lawenfor/2755.htm
–Call a licensed veterinarian for immediate assistance with a sick or severely injured wild animal.
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