CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Every spring, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offices receive tons of phone calls from well-intentioned wildlife viewers that are caught off guard by young wildlife they presume to be alone or orphaned.

There’s often an impulse to “protect” the young critter by finding it a “safer” home. But what is a safe home for wildlife?

It’s certainly not human homes, which are not designed for animals.

Sara Turner, manager of the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, said the safest place for young wildlife is where you find them.

Although you may not think the animal’s mother is present, she is almost always nearby and waiting for a safe time to return to her young.

Although you may not think the animal’s mother is present, she is almost always nearby and waiting for a safe time to return to her young.

Most likely, she said, they aren’t really alone.

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