Step away from the cute baby animal. That’s the message wildlife officials are re-upping this week, after continued instances of people “saving” newborn animals, only to cause more harm than good.
According to BuzzFeed, the issue has been particularly acute in the Pacific Northwest, as harbor seals give birth to their young. Last month, a woman picked up a harbor seal pup on a beach in Westport, Washington, and carried it to a house in a shopping tote bag.
But officials said they had to euthanize the pup since it was lethargic and unresponsive. Officials say time and again, the human response to seeing what appears to be an abandoned baby animal is to rush in and provide what they think is assistance. But Mick Cope, game manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said, “In fact, their parents are usually nearby and may even be watching as their fawns, kits, and chicks are removed by would-be rescuers.” Often, these “rescues” end badly for the baby animal, which rarely survives to be reintroduced into the wild, either because they are euthanized or die while under watch.