HARRISBURG – This is the time of year when Pennsylvanians may encounter young wildlife. While some young animals might appear to be abandoned, usually they are not. So when encountering young wildlife, be it deer, birds, rabbits, or other animals, the best thing you can do is leave them alone. PA Game Commission’s Wildlife Management Director, Matthew Schnupp says well-intentioned people might step in to help a young animal that appears to be alone, not realizing its mother is nearby and it’s not in need of help. The Game Commission says people need to resist the urge to interfere with young wildlife or remove any wild animal from its natural setting. Such contact can be harmful to both people and wildlife. Wild animals can lose their natural fear of humans, making it difficult, even impossible, for them to ever again live normally in the wild. Anytime wildlife is handled, there’s always a risk people could contract diseases or parasites such as fleas, ticks, and lice. It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal. Only wildlife rehabilitators, who are licensed by the Game Commission, are permitted to care for injured or orphaned wildlife for the purposes of eventual release back into the wild. For those who find wildlife that truly is in need, a listing of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the PA Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators website, pawr.com.