If you find a sick or abandoned wild animal, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says removing it from its habitat could do more harm than good. The ministry wants to remind the public to keep your distance as the adult animal may not return if it’s noisy or if people are around.

The MNRF says some species leave their offspring alone during the day to try and keep predators from finding them. If you feel an animal has been abandoned, periodically check it over 24 to 48 hours to see if it’s still around.

If the animal looks to be injured, you are not allowed to keep it in captivity without approval from the ministry. You may however be able to temporarily keep an animal for up to 24 hours while transporting it to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Signs that an animal is sick or injured include bloody wounds or swelling on the body. Other sings are if the animal is covered in fleas, has a loss of fur or feathers, difficulty breathing, a dangling leg, or wing, or closed eyes.

For more information on what to do if you find a sick or abandoned animal, visit the ministry website here.