Leave them alone.

That’s when it comes to finding baby animals according to the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS).

Officer Nicole Caithness says Kelowna COS followed up on a complaint on Monday involving the abduction of a baby porcupine.

“The COs were able to determine who had illegally picked up the porcupine and return it back to the location where it was picked up. The public may have good intentions in picking up what they believe are orphaned wildlife when in fact their mothers are nearby,” she said.

“The public is being reminded to leave young animals such as fawns, calves, and baby porcupines alone.”

Caithness said the COS is now investigating the people involved under the Wildlife Act for the unlawful possession of live wildlife.

The incident comes after an Invermere man was recently charged with unlawful possession of live wildlife after entering a liquor store with a fawn.

COS were able to trace the man to his home where he was still in unlawful possession of the fawn believing it to have been abandoned. The officers brought back the fawn to where it was found and a call was used to mimic fawn vocalization.

Caithness said almost immediately a whitetail doe ran to the location and was reunited with the fawn.

“This story serves as an excellent reminder to the public to leave baby animals alone and to call the RAPP line so that an officer can monitor the situation and determine if the animal is truly orphaned and is in need of help,” Caithness said.

“In addition, the public is reminded to call the RAPP line not the SPCA as they will be informed to take the so-called orphaned wildlife to a rehabilitation facility.”