Saskatchewan's environment ministry says it has received "numerous" calls from the public lately about apparently 

abandoned baby ducks, goslings, song birds and fawns.

It's asking the public to think twice about rescuing baby animals that appear to be orphaned — because they may not be.

More often than not, the mother is off hunting for food or has been temporarily scared off by people, the ministry said in a news release.

For that reason, even though it might seem a bit heartless, people should not attempt to rescue young animals or take them home.

An exception might be if the mother is found dead close to the young. 

And so, if one encounters a young bird that has fallen out of the nest, the advice in most cases is to return it to the nest or leave it as is.

Young geese or ducks, meanwhile, can be released at the nearest body where waterfowl are raising their young.

Finally, the government recommends people avoid young raccoons and skunks as these are noted carriers of rabies.

Those who come across a young animal or bird and have concerns can call a local conservation officer for assistance. If it's after hours, people can call the Turn-In-Poachers toll-free hotline at 1-800-667-7561.