Residents in Lander reminded to leave wildlife alone
Mallard hen with her ducklings near a curb

“Young waterfowl often get picked up at high rates in and around Lander,” says Lander Game Warden Rob Shipe. “Every year many well-intentioned people in town pick them trying to “save” them.” 


“June and July are when ducklings become more mobile but are still unable to fly,” Shipe says. “Often the adults may get spooked and fly away. The best thing to do is to give them their space free from people and pets so they can return and rejoin their young.” 


People who find young animals without a mother nearby often assume the newborns have been abandoned, but this is rarely the case. Viewing wildlife from a distance and giving them space are always the best practice. 


Shipe says, “Wildlife know how to rear their young without our help, and any time we can keep their family unit together it will result in the best outcome for them.” 


If children bring home a wild “orphan,” immediately return it to the exact spot it was found. In the rare instance when a newborn is found and the adult is known to be dead, contact the nearest game warden, biologist or Game and Fish regional office. Do not attempt to capture these animals yourself.


State and federal laws forbid the possession of waterfowl, game and many nongame animals, so adopting newborn wildlife is illegal. Citations can be issued for possession of newborn wildlife with a possible penalty of up to  $1,000. 

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