Wild animals are best left alone in the wild. Some wild animals can pose a threat to well-meaning people who want to help them. Not all wildlife can survive from injuries. Animals with injuries may be more defensive and try to protect themselves by biting.

It is illegal to possess a live wild animal in Michigan. Every day an animal spends with humans makes it less likely to be able to survive in the wild. Many animals will die if removed from their natural environment, and some have diseases or parasites that can be passed on to humans or pets. Some "rescued" animals that do survive become habituated to people and are unable to revert back to life in the wild. Eventually, habituated animals pose additional dangers and may be aggressive towards people or pets.

If you come across an injured wild animal and want to assist it, please contact a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator before removing the animal from the wild. For a list of licensed rehabilitators visit www.michigandnr.com/dlr or call your local DNR office. Licensed wildlife rehabilitators have gone through the required training and have the appropriate facilities to care for injured animals so they can be released back into the wild. Learn more about becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Michigan.