NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — There is a simple message for the well-intentioned people who want to pick up and rescue orphaned baby animals.

According to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, people should not touch baby animals that look like they have been orphaned, whether it’s a fawn, duckling, cottontail rabbit, or bird. It’s safe to just leave them alone.

Most of the time, young animals are not abandoned or deserted, and the mom is close by. Young wildlife are purposely secluded by adults to protect them.

When a human has contact with a young wild animal, its chance of survival decreases. It’s illegal to take them home and captive animals that are returned to the wild will struggle to survive since they won’t have survival skills.

There’s only one time that a baby animal should be picked up: when it’s in an unnatural situation. Like a bird found on a doorstep. In those cases, the animal can be moved to the closest suitable habitat.

People should also steer clear of adult wildlife that might wander into urban areas, as crowding can cause stress to the animals and leads to a potentially dangerous situation.

Drivers are also being reminded to watch out for deer along the roads, as for the next several weeks, young animals are dispersing from home rangers, and deer are more active in the summer.