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updated: 5/23/2014 6:17 PM

Officials: Leave state's wildlife alone

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Associated Press

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking hikers, picnickers and others enjoying the warm weather to stay away from any baby birds and wild animals they come across.

In a news release, the department says that well-meaning people every year rescue animals they believe to have been orphaned or abandoned but in reality are still being cared for by their parents. Taking wild animals home is not only illegal, but if the animals bite those who pick them up, the Centers for Disease Control says they must be euthanized immediately to be tested for rabies.

The release also says it is illegal to feed wild deer because when deer congregate it can result in the spread of disease.

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