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So cute, but so wrong: Don't take in Utah wildlife

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 12:31:48-04

VERNAL, Utah — Baby animals are cute and adorable, but Utah wildlife officials are reminding residents not to pick up the animals or take them home.

READ: Let wildlife stay wild, warns Utah DNR

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Monday it has received several reports of people illegally taking home newborn fawns and baby raccoons.

"Diseases, viruses and parasites from non-protected and protected wildlife can be transmitted to humans and pets via saliva, feces or urine," the DWR says. "Raccoons can also carry and transmit leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis, which can be lethal for unborn babies."

The DWR also warned about animals such as fawns or other big game animals that become aggressive when they get older.

WATCH: Drought raises risk of invasive quagga mussels spreading to Utah bodies of water

According to the DWR, permits are required to house wild animals such as raccoons and coyotes. If a resident does not have a permit for each animal they have taken in, they can be seized immediately.

The following wild animals are considered non-protected wildlife in the state of Utah:

  • Raccoons
  • Striped skunks
  • Coyotes
  • Ground squirrels
  • Gophers
  • Jack rabbits
  • Muskrats
  • Field mice

Wildlife officials say people should leave an animal where they found it and do not touch the animal.