GFP Asks Public to Leave Wild Animals Alone

April 21, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. – Spring is here. This is the time when many species of wildlife become more active, whether they are waking up from a long-winter’s slumber, migrating northward, or building a nest. 
All this activity provides ample opportunities to view wildlife, but it also increases the chances of human-wildlife interactions, says South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks wildlife biologist, Silka Kempema. 

“As spring turns into summer, you may see a baby bird that looks like it fell out of a nest, a fawn that is unattended or a single bat in a tree,” said Kempema. “They may all seem like situations where human intervention may be needed, but most often, it is not. If you find wildlife, take the opportunity to observe from a safe distance for both you and the animal.” 

If you care, leave it there.

Across the nation, people are noticing wildlife more during these times of self-quarantine, and wild animals are showing up in new places because of less disturbance. 

Now more than ever, we must be careful when interacting with wild animals, says Kempema. “We know that diseases can pass from wildlife to people. Some disease experts are cautioning that the COVID-19 virus could work the other way around, with people transmitting it to wildlife, especially other mammals.” 

Another reason to leave wild animals alone. 


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