YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many nature lovers have run across young wildlife in the wild, especially in spring. Some may seem abandoned, but a warning you may have heard as a kid is not true.

Contrary to popular belief, human scent will not prevent animal parents from returning to care for their young, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Wildlife life experts say if you find a baby bird, return it to its nest and walk away so the parents can feed it without fear of humans. If a natural nest can’t be located, parents will often care for baby birds placed nearby in a makeshift nest.

In the spring and early summer, wildlife reproduction is at its peak. That’s why you may see baby animals more often at this time. You may think they are unattended but unless something seems amiss, keep your distance and leave them alone. “Human intervention is always a wild animal’s last hope for survival, never its best hope,” according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Animal parents can’t be in two places at one time, so if you see a baby animal it’s most likely waiting for its mother. In fact, animal babies are left alone a lot in nature.

Humans can help wildlife. If you see open wounds or other injuries or you know for sure that the animal has lost its parent, consult a local wildlife rehabilitator or county wildlife officer. Do not attempt to capture or feed wildlife until proper, expert guidance is provided to you.

Keep in mind if you tame a wild animal, it can never return to the forest, according to wildlife experts. Also, it is illegal to keep wildlife without a rehabilitation permit.

You can read all about Ohio’s wildlife online and what you can do to help the most common species that you may encounter who are truly orphaned or injured.