During the lockdown in the past few months, we have witnessed unusual scenes of wild animals walking on asphalt roads, in squares and parks. But how should you behave when you meet them? How do you know whether you are dealing with an animal in distress that therefore needs your help or whether your action might even endanger it? On Biodiversity Day, the National Animal Protection Agency (ENPA) has decided to provide some advice on how to behave when you encounter wild animals.

If you find a swallow or a swift on the ground, always pick it up! They are great flyers and if they are on the ground, there is something wrong. ENPA says that the parents of these species do not follow their young outside the nest and that if they are on the ground, they are likely to die. They always have to be picked up.

If you find a bat on the ground, do not be afraid and pick it up. It may be injured, or have a broken wing, or it may just be young. Put it in a box; give it some water to drink and contact an expert. And remember, bats are harmless!

If you meet wild boars, remember that they are more afraid of you! Do not run – they would be faster – and do not go any closer, back away slowly and if you have a dog remember not to let it loose.

If you see a young roe deer in a meadow, move away: it is just hiding in the vegetation waiting for its mother to come back. Therefore, it does not need you. Never capture it!

If you see a baby bird that cannot fly yet, but jumps and has eyes open, do not catch it. It has a mother who takes care of it, teaching it what to eat and how to hide from predators: a necessary and irreplaceable school of nature. If in a dangerous situation, move it inside a nearby hedge.

If you see an animal that is injured, or that you think is in difficulty, and in case of doubt, do not act on your own, but immediately contact the nearest CRAS (Wild Animal Recovery Centre), who will help you to handle the situation and to understand whether or not to take action. You can even take a picture with your mobile phone and experts will tell you what to do and what not to do.