Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports columns

May 5, 2012

We should leave young animals alone

DNR seeks input on hunting, fishing and trapping regulations

Marcia and Kent Logan are like most good parents. They work hard and try to spend free time outdoors as a family with their two sons, Kaleb, 8, and Kyle, who just turned 10. So it was only fitting when they decided to enjoy a Sunday afternoon looking for morel mushrooms.

They had barely reached the woodlot when both boys rocketed ahead.

“I think they’re more interested in exploring than looking for mushrooms,” Logan told his wife.

He had just spotted his first morel poking up from the moist forest floor when he heard his sons yell, “Dad, come here quick.”

As Logan reached the two boys, he noticed the focus of their excitement.

“Look at what we found!” they both said in unison pointing to the base of large tree. Clinging to the bark was a small, baby raccoon.

“Please can we keep it?” Kyle pleaded in a sincere, innocent voice — the kind of voice that would grab the heart of almost any caring adult.

“We promise to take real good care of it,” Kaleb assured.

“And it doesn’t have any parents,” Kyle quickly added, trying to convince his father.

Although Logan did consider it for a few seconds, he did the right thing.

“It belongs here in the woods so we better leave it here,” he explained to his sons. “And just because we don’t see its parents, doesn’t mean they are not around.”

Springtime is a season of birth, especially for many forms of wildlife. At the same time, woodlots become popular places for turkey hunters and people looking for morel mushrooms, like the Logan family.

Biologists from the Division of Wildlife warn that well-meaning Hoosiers can upset the course of nature by removing young animals or birds from their den or nests. Besides jeopardizing the baby’s well being, taking any form of wildlife from their natural environment is against the law.

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