As animal lovers, there are really no lengths that we won’t go to in order to help an animal in need. Regardless of the size or type of animal, if help is needed, we’re there. While this is an incredibly admirable thing, when it comes to helping wildlife, sometimes even the best intentions can end up causing more harm than good.

Unlike dogs or cats, wild animals require very special care when they’re injured or abandoned. These animals have evolved to be fearful of humans and in most cases, even the kindest action from a person can cause them to go into a state of shock or illicit an aggressive response. It can be difficult to know exactly what to do when faced with a wild animal that seems to need help, so if you’re in need of a little help deciphering the right course of action, check out this story.

Imgur user QuantumFetuses explains she came across a group of girls on a college campus who found an abandoned baby squirrel. They were planning on raising the squirrel and keeping him as a pet. But knowing that the girls didn’t have the proper skills to help this little one (and that it was illegal to own a squirrel in the state), she stepped in.

The baby squirrel might have been adorable, but wild animals never make good pets.

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Before resorting to taking the baby to a wildlife rehabilitator, she took the squirrel back to where he was found in the hopes that mom would come back to get him. The baby called out, but there was no response.

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With no mom in sight, she started to evaluate the squirrel’s health. Overall, he seemed alright. Babies can’t regulate their body temperature, but luckily it was a warm day.

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After a quick search, this kind woman found a professional wildlife rehabilitator nearby and set out with the little one.

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Now this tiny guy is on his way to a better life. Hopefully, once he grows a bit, he’ll be able to return to the wild where he belongs.

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Although the girls who initially found this abandoned baby might have wanted to help, keeping a wild animal as a pet can actually be the worst thing you can do. Wildlife thrive in their natural habitat and when they are removed from it, they can become extremely distressed and sick. The best course of action whenever you find a wild animal in need is to contact a professional wildlife rehabilitator, click here for a list of some that could help. For additional resources that can help, click here.

All image source: QuantumFetuses/Imgur