(KLIX) – It’s that time of year again when people start seeing more baby animals in the wild.

Wildlife officials have a message for those who may encounter baby animals that appear to have been abandoned: leave them alone.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said even if a baby animal appears to have been left alone, the chances are its parents are nearby, maybe even watching you watch their offspring. And if the parents aren’t watching you, they know right where their baby is and will return to it shortly.

“Animal parents will periodically leave their young in order to search for food or to divert attention away from their vulnerable offspring, especially if they sense danger,” Fish and Game explained in a news release.

Young wild animals, like deer fawns, know instinctively to remain still and in the places their mothers left them. Does will return every three to four hours to nurse and care for their young. In the meantime, a fawn’s protective coloring and lack of movement helps hide its location from predators.

Also, it said baby birds that may appear to be abandoned by its parents is likely just learning how to fly and the parents aren't too far away.

The department said it receives many calls this time of year from concerned people about the baby animals they see in the wild, or sometimes in their own backyard, apparently left alone. Sometimes these people will “rescue” the baby, taking it with them or away from where they found it. But wildlife officials say this is a big mistake.

A mule deer, for instance, will often hang out in an area for several days, searching and waiting for her missing baby to reappear.

In short, leave baby animals alone.

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