Breaking News
More () »

Leave baby animals alone, says Arizona Game & Fish

Officials said while it may appear the babies have been abandoned, their parents are most likely close by.

PHOENIX — As tempting as it is to help seemingly abandoned baby animals, the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) is asking the public to leave baby wildlife alone.

While it may appear the baby birds or bunnies have been left behind, once the perceived predator (a dog, cat, or person) leaves the area, one or both parents will return and continue to care for their young, according to AZGFD officials.

Once young animals have been removed from the wild, AZGFD said some species, like elk calves and deer fawns, may have to be euthanized because they cannot be released back into their natural habitat. Zoos and other wildlife sanctuaries usually are not viable options, as they often don’t have available space.

Baby birds are the most common young wildlife encountered by the public and removed from the wild, AZGFD said. Eggs of ground-nesting birds like quail should be left untouched. 

Up to Speed

Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.

More ways to get 12News

On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.

On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device

The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona.

On social media: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Before You Leave, Check This Out