Reminder to leave young wildlife alone
Young wildlife may be cute, and it may be tempting to bring a fawn, cub, chick or kit home, but tiny animals are not pets. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding people that touching or feeding them can hurt wildlife and jeopardize human health. It also can harm the ecosystem.
Human encounters with young animals often increase in the spring, when many wildlife species bear young.
“Wild animals are not pets, and they are not meant to be raised and fed by humans,” said Ann May, the Commission’s extension wildlife biologist. “Wild animals still have their wild instincts, even if they seem tame. Well-meaning people can be injured by a wild animal just following its instincts,and the interaction can be harmful to the animals as well.”
It is illegal to keep native wildlife as a pet in North Carolina. Also, capturing and handling a young animal can stress it, sometimes fatally. In addition, young animals that look abandoned often are not.
Many species do not stay with their young constantly and only return to feed them. The parent may return and become aggressive in an attempt to defend its young. And, as a young animal grows, it,too, can become aggressive.
Feeding animals may seem harmless or even helpful. However, it causes the animal to lose its natural fear of humans and seek more human food. An animal may become aggressive or cause property damage in its search for more human food.
Wildlife can transmit diseases, including rabies and roundworm, to humans.
For more information on coexisting with wildlife, including young animals, visit www.ncwildlife.org.
Free kids fishing events
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, in partnership with Neuse Sport Shop, Trout Unlimited and the U.S.Forest Service, is supporting more than 35 free fishing events for kids from late May through early June.
The events are held throughout the state each year in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week. Find an event near you.
Young anglers registered at any fishing event can enter a statewide drawing for a chance to win one of more than 150 fishing-related prizes.
The grand prize is a lifetime sportsman license, which includes freshwater and saltwater fishing privileges, as well as hunting privileges, donated by Neuse Sport Shop, located in Kinston.
The first prize is a lifetime freshwater fishing license, donated by the N.C. State Council of Trout Unlimited.
Neuse Sport Shop also is donating tackle boxes, rod-and-reel combos and fishing line, while the Wildlife Commission is donating prizes, such as fishing towels, playing cards and mini-tackle boxes.
Local sponsors for many events will provide prizes and gifts to registered participants as well.
The Wildlife Commission will conduct the drawing for prizes at the end of June and will publish a list of winners on its website in early July.
To give kids a better chance of catching fish, the Wildlife Commission is stocking fish at many of these sites before the events, from trout in the mountains to channel catfish and bluegill in Piedmont and coastal public waters.
For more information about National Fishing and Boating Week 2103, visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s website, www.takemefishing.org. For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.