Idaho wolf pup mistaken for lost puppy

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by Natalie Podgorski

NWCN.com

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 2:24 PM

BOISE -- Spring is here and so are the baby animals.  If you are outside it is not hard to find them.  But if you do, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is asking you to leave the animals alone.

This time of year, the department has lots of people who bring wild baby animals into the office because they thought the animal was abandoned.  However, officials say those animals aren't abandoned.  Most likely they were just left by mom and dad for a little while they went to find food or their parents are hiding a few feet away.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says if we take animals out of the wild we are doing more harm than good.

On Friday, some campers thought they were doing the right thing by rescuing what they thought was a stray dog.  The animal was in the middle of Warm Springs Road, about 15 miles outside of Ketchum.

"They thought it was a domestic animal so they picked it up and took it to a clinic in Ketchum only to find out that it could be a wolf pup," said Mike Keckler, Fish and Game spokesman.

DNA tests are being run to confirm the pup is a wolf.  Biologists tried to find the potential wolf pup's pack so it could be returned to the wild.  But they couldn't find any signs the pack was still in the area the pup was found, so it is headed to Zoo Boise.

"They've got the veterinary staff, they've got the cages, they've got the facility to do it right," said Keckler.

The zoo is giving the pup the veterinary care it needs, workers are also trying to find it a new home at an accredited wolf facility.

Idaho Fish and Game hopes this pup's story will keep people from taking any more animals from their homes.

"Chances are if this a real wolf, its parents may have been just a few hundred yards, or even a few yards off the road," said Keckler.

Fish and Game knows people are just trying to help but it says animals know where they leave their babies and they will be back for them.

So the agency is reminding people to, "Stay back.  Give them plenty of room. Maybe take a photograph and then move along," said Keckler.

Fish and Game says if you think a baby animal may be hurt and alone you can give them a call, but do not touch any wild animals.

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