Why you shouldn't help that cute injured animal

Posted at 1:44 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 13:44:05-04

While it may be tempting to help a cute injured animal in the wild, officials want to warn you that helping can cause more harm than good. 

Each year during the spring and summer, The Maryland Department of Health and Department of Natural Resources say they get multiple reports of people trying to care for or help wild animals. While they are often made with good intentions, officials say it can cause a serious risk to both the animals and humans involved. 

Experts want to remind people that any wild animal, especially young ones, should be left alone and in their natural environment. You can observe from a distance, but by intervening you could possibly interfere with the animals' natural adaption to their environment and the development of their basic survival skills. 

In Maryland, it is illegal to possess deer, raccoons, and foxes. To date, 118 animals have been diagnosed with rabies this year in Maryland, including animals like raccoons, bats, and foxes. 

If you get sick, injured, nuisance wild animals you should maintain a safe distance and call a licensed professional to help. 

The Department of Natural Resoures can be reached between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling 410-260-8540. USDA Wildlife Services can be reached by calling 1-877-463-6497. Additional information on reporting sick, injured, or nuisance wildlife is available online by clicking here.