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Keep Wildlife Wild 2023 poster design contest for youth | By Wisconsin DNR

Washington Co., WI – Participate in our sixth annual Keep Wildlife Wild poster contest. The poster design contest is open to 4-6th grade students who attend public, private, parochial, or home schools in Wisconsin.


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We think the name says a lot, but what exactly does it mean to Keep Wildlife Wild? Find out all the ways you can help keep wild animals in Wisconsin safe and healthy on our Keep Wildlife Wild webpage. Then use what you learn to turn your ideas into a piece of art.

The deadline for submitting poster designs is 5 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2024.

If you have questions on the submission procedures, contact [email protected].

Five reasons to keep wildlife wild:

  1. Stress: Wild animals view people and domestic animals as predators and are highly stressed by the sights, sounds and smells of being near humans or domestic animals. This stress can cause serious health problems and even death, for wild animals.
  2. Diet: Wild animals have specialized dietary needs that are not easily met in captivity. Young wild animals especially require a specific, complete diet; otherwise, they are at a high risk of suffering serious nutritional deficiencies that can leave them deformed for life. Do not feed a wild animal [PDF] human food items because non-natural food items will most likely cause more harm and will not provide nutritional benefits.
  3. Disease: Wild animals carry many different diseases and parasites, some of which are transmissible to domestic animals and even humans.
  4. The habituation/non-natural behavior development: Wild animals need to learn normal social behaviors from their species. Wild animals that learn non-normal behaviors from humans or domestic animals will likely not survive if they are released because they have not learned the correct survival skills, they have lost their natural fear of humans and predators, and they may be abnormally habituated to human activity. As young animals grow into adults, they can still demonstrate dangerous wild animal behaviors that can threaten human and domestic animal safety.
  5. It’s illegal: Most wild animals are protected under state and federal laws and cannot be taken from the wild or possessed by unauthorized citizens. Raising a wild animal as a pet is not only against laws and regulations, but it is not doing the right thing for the animal. Wisconsin’s captive wildlife regulations allow a citizen to possess a wild animal for up to 24 hours to transfer that animal to an appropriately licensed individual, such as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian. Even though wild animals are cute, they should not be viewed as pets.


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