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Alabama says no to saving baby critters

PELHAM, Ala. – Wildlife lovers are protesting a new state rule in Alabama they say is a death sentence for helpless baby raccoons, skunks and other wild animals there.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says it will no longer issue permits to rehabilitate most injured or orphaned raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes, feral pigs or bats.

The agency said anyone who finds an orphaned or sick animal should leave it in the wild and that humane organizations should euthanize any of the animals they receive.

State officials say that removing such orphaned or injured animals from the wild interrupts the food chain and could help spread diseases such as rabies.

But wildlife workers are appalled. Some say they will keep saving baby raccoons and other animals, regardless of the new rule.

Follow AP writer Jay Reeves on Twitter at ––Reeves