Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What do I do if I find a baby animal?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 3 Replies

http://theecotoneexchange.com/2014/03/27/who-takes-care-of-orphaned-injured-or-kidnapped-wildlife/



Photo courtesy of The Wildlife Center of Virginia

Photo courtesy of The Wildlife Center of Virginia

Spring is the time of year when many young animals are born or hatched.  It is also a time of year when adult animals are much more active and prone to accidents or injuries.  This creates a remarkable and swift increase in the number of animals being cared for by wildlife rehabilitators.

Wildlife rehabilitators are focused on and committed to the treatment and subsequent release of orphaned, kidnapped or injured native wildlife.  Though the profession is young by comparison to other animal related vocations, it is one that has evolved to include a global exchange of specialized data and standards of care.

In 1982, The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) was formed when 262 people from 22 states gathered for the very first National Wildlife Rehabilitation Symposium.  Wildlife rehabilitators came together in Naperville, Illinois, hosted by the staff of Willowbrook Wildlife Haven, out of a desire to form a national organization and establish national standards for the care of wild animals.

Are you wondering why there would be a need for national organizations and global standards in caring for injured and orphaned native wildlife?  Consider this: In 2007 alone, approximately 64,000 birds, 39,000 mammals, and 2,300 reptiles and amphibians were treated by 343 NWRA survey respondents. The overall rate of release back to the wild was 60% for birds, 72% for mammals, and 69% for reptiles and amphibians.  Also, 252,000 wildlife-related telephone calls were handled, and over half of the survey respondents provided wildlife education programs to the public, reaching an estimated 839,000 people.

In 1984 the NWRA had a membership of 221 people; by 2009, the membership reached almost 1,800 people from all over the world.

According to a recent NWRA membership survey, 30% of the members are veterinarians, vet students, or veterinary technicians. Other members are affiliated with humane societies or zoos, or are educators, biologists or merely concerned citizens of the world who volunteer their time and resources to the care of wildlife.

I-Found-a-Squirrel

This sort of work is not for the faint of heart.  More than 75% of the animals cared for by NWRA members are adversely affected by human activities such as nest tree destruction, vehicle collisions, unrestrained pets, illegal or legal wild “pet” trading, intentional or unintentional poisonings through events such as contamination, window collisions, and non-target trapping or shooting.

Bunnynap

In wildlife rehabilitation, on a daily basis, healthy juvenile animals are brought in as “orphaned” during the spring and summer.  They are quickly labeled as “kidnapped” because a human made the false assumption that the animal was alone merely because they didn’t see an adult animal.  Most animals do not tend to their young constantly the way humans do.  If you do not see an adult animal, it is likely either out gathering food or hiding and waiting for the scary human to go away. Don’t be a kidnapper.

The best thing you can do when you see animals, including baby animals that are not obviously sick, injured or abandoned is to leave them alone.  And make sure your children and pets leave them alone as well.

It is okay to watch the animal from afar, far enough away that the parents will feel comfortable tending to their babies, if appropriate.  Think of it as when you were taught to ride a bicycle for the first time.  Eventually you peddled away from the grown up that was teaching you, but they were still watching.  Imagine the horror the adult would have experienced if a big monster came and snatched you away, just because they thought you were unsupervised.

Baby Bird care

For guidelines on how to determine if an animal needs human intervention, visitThe National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association.  There are excellent guidelines for determining if baby mammals and baby birds need rescuing. There is also helpful information for finding wildlife rehabilitators in your area.

Posted by Anonymous on Apr. 3, 2014 at 6:45 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-3):
wulfeyes05
by Bigby Wolf on Apr. 3, 2014 at 6:49 PM

A friend and I and her dad saved a fawn once. It got stuck at the bottom of a hill near a road while it's mother was at the top. It had just laid down because it was scared and wouldn't move away from the road. So we got out and my friends dad kind of patted its butt and it ran up the hill. Mommy deer was very happy. We don't tend to pick up wild animals. Unless I found one orphaned after like a forest fire I'll  just leave them alone or if mom got hit by a car or something like that.

JC2223
by Platinum Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 7:10 PM

We had a nest of 6 baby bunnies under one of my front mini-evergreen trees. We could see them clearly since the tree is just under our office window and the base of the window is only about 5 inches from the floor. I was watching the Mamma bunny feed them one morning, then watched her go across the grass, then watched her go into the street, then watched a car run her over and kill her. I called animal control, who had me call the wildlife department, who then congratulated me on becoming the new "Mamma" to 6 infant bunnies. They said I could either care for them, or remove them from my property and let nature take its course. There was no way I was going to have the death of 6 infant bunnies on my conscience. I went to the pet store to buy animal infant formula and all the supplies I was going to need to care for these babies. Thankfully, there was a girl there that was helpful in making sure I was well informed as to how to properly care for them in a manner that would allow me to release them back to nature. She said the same thing happened to her a few months ago and she was able to save 4 of the 5 bunnies and release them back to nature at her grandparents farm. She offered to take these bunnies for me and care for them to be released back into nature the same as the others and I was overjoyed! She sent me picture text updates on them right up to the day they were released. Sorry, but if I followed the wildlife people's advice, I would have been responsible for the death of 6 innocent babies who's mother was killed. I couldn't live with myself if that happened.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Apr. 3, 2014 at 8:58 PM
Not every wildlife center is great but many are...and the reality is that there sometimes are not enough resources to take in every nest of bunnies.. Sad but true.

Quoting JC2223:

We had a nest of 6 baby bunnies under one of my front mini-evergreen trees. We could see them clearly since the tree is just under our office window and the base of the window is only about 5 inches from the floor. I was watching the Mamma bunny feed them one morning, then watched her go across the grass, then watched her go into the street, then watched a car run her over and kill her. I called animal control, who had me call the wildlife department, who then congratulated me on becoming the new "Mamma" to 6 infant bunnies. They said I could either care for them, or remove them from my property and let nature take its course. There was no way I was going to have the death of 6 infant bunnies on my conscience. I went to the pet store to buy animal infant formula and all the supplies I was going to need to care for these babies. Thankfully, there was a girl there that was helpful in making sure I was well informed as to how to properly care for them in a manner that would allow me to release them back to nature. She said the same thing happened to her a few months ago and she was able to save 4 of the 5 bunnies and release them back to nature at her grandparents farm. She offered to take these bunnies for me and care for them to be released back into nature the same as the others and I was overjoyed! She sent me picture text updates on them right up to the day they were released. Sorry, but if I followed the wildlife people's advice, I would have been responsible for the death of 6 innocent babies who's mother was killed. I couldn't live with myself if that happened.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)