SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding people who find young animals this spring to leave newborn wildlife alone even if they appear to be abandoned.

The agency says most animal mothers hide their young and return to them periodically to nurse. People finding young animals often assume the newborns have been abandoned, but this is almost never the case. The mother knows where her young are and will almost certainly return.

State and federal laws forbid possession of game and many nongame animals, so adopting newborn wildlife is illegal.

The best solution is to leave the young animals alone. If children bring home a wild newborn, it should be immediately returned to the exact spot it was found.

In the instance when a fawn or other newborn is found and the mother is known to be dead, contact the nearest game warden, biologist, or regional office.