DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - A Southside wildlife expert is reminding people what to do if they encounter a baby animal, especially if it's injured.
This is the time of year when babies start to come out of their winter nests.
The Southside Virginia Wildlife Center says more often than not, when you see a baby animal by itself it's not injured it has just been orphaned and may be better left alone.
If it's clear the animal needs help though, you should put on thick gloves, cover the animal with a blanket or towel, put it in a box, and take it to a licensed wildlife rehab center.
"If you take that animal in, whether it's a baby or it's an injured baby or it's an injured adult, and you care for it on your own that's actually a misdemeanor or a federal fine punishable by law," explained Southside Virginia Wildlife Center Executive Director Tanya Lovern.
She cautions people about trying to catch owls and hawks though given that they have sharp talons that can cause serious injury.
"Be very cautious when catching one of those," Lovern said. "It's best for you to call and get some advice first."
The center took in 818 animals in 2016, of which Lovern estimates 85-90 percent were babies.
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