AZ Officials Release Urgent Warning: Avoid THIS Baby Animal!
It's difficult to see a baby in distress, and many of us have the urge to help. If that baby happens to be an animal, many of us spring to action when we believe we might be able to help.
Recently, a teenage girl in Arizona learned the hard way that it's better to let mother nature - or a qualified professional - handle wild animals. Even wild baby animals.
Arizona Game and Fish issued a warning and a reminder, NOT to handle or attempt to rescue wild animals, even babies.
A teenage girl in Sahuarita discovered a baby coyote who appeared to have been abandoned by its mother. When she found it, she tried to bring it to safety, but things took a turn when was bitten in the process.
The baby coyote appeared to be cute and helpless, but the bite came with serious consequences. In a recent tweet, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish said, "The pup’s mother likely left it unattended briefly so that she could feed."
The teen is now being treated for rabies. Due to the nature of rabies and in order to mitigate the possible spread, the coyote pup had to be put down. Officials are testing its brain for rabies, per department policy whenever humans are bitten or scratched by wild animals.
Officials were not able to return the pup to the wild. Too much time had gone by, and the mother wouldn't have taken it back, the agency reported.
What to Do If You Find a Baby Coyote
If you're ever in a situation where you find a baby coyote or any other baby animal, leave it alone. Many animal mothers leave their offspring alone for short periods of time to feed, and there's a good likelihood they mother will return.
Don't Attempt to Rescue the Animal
Don't try to rescue the animal. This is the best way to avoid the possibility of injury. You can't tell by looking if an animal is sick or carrying diseases. The risk of rabies or parasites like ticks and fleas, is a danger with any wild animal.
Plus, trying to intercede could scare away the coyote's mother. She might be nearby and looking for her pup, and she may perceive you as a threat and attack.
Contact an Expert Wildlife Control Business
If you're not licensed and trained to handle wildlife, handling wildlife could be considered breaking the law. Coyotes and other wildlife are protected by federal and state regulations. If you don't have a special permit to handle or keep wild animals, contact someone who can help.
If you're unsure, call (623) 236-7201 if you find a wild animal in that seems to be in distress. See the Arizona Game & Fish Website for a complete list of licensed Wildlife Control Businesses.