You’re walking through the back country of Southern Utah or even here in town and you see this cute little guy all by himself looking lonely. You can’t see his mama and you are worried about his survival. Well, don’t pick him up and take him home. This is not a puppy, it’s a baby coyote and it is illegal to keep him here in Utah.
Same with this little guy. Raccoons are also illegal to bring home as a pet. In fact, don’t touch any wildlife at all no matter what you think they need. If you are worried for the welfare of the animal, call the Division of Wildlife Services and let them know what you found. The DWR will know exactly what to do in each situation.
The DWR has found people with baby coyotes, raccoons and even little fawns.
It is illegal to take any protected species out of the wild. Cougars, deer, bears, many bird species and even rabbits should be left alone in the wild. Many of these wild animals are cute when they are little and then grow up to be dangerous.
There are several reasons to keep people from handling wild animals the first being the welfare of the little critters. The mother may just be foraging and will be back soon.
You can expose yourself to diseases and parasites that can be transferred to humans as well as pets. The environment can also be negatively impacted when you decide to take home a wild animal.
If you do have an illegal animal without any sort of permit, the DWR or the health department can seize the animal immediately. There are also several reptiles on the list. The best advice is to enjoy looking at nature and admiring it, but leave it in nature no matter how cute or in danger you think the animal is.
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