CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire wildlife officials are once again reminding residents to leave young critters alone.

With many species giving birth in spring, the Fish and Game Department has been getting more calls from people who have picked up young animals in the mistaken belief that they are orphans. But officials say many adult animals intentionally leave their young for extended periods to eat and lead predators away and will return later.

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“Young wild animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, typically have their best chance of surviving when they are in their own natural environment,” said game program supervisor Dan Bergeron.

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Only qualified people with special rehabilitator permits, issued through the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, may shelter and care for injured or orphaned wildlife.

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