The first day of summer is almost here. Schools are ending. Gardens are growing. Tractors are mowing. There’s a lot to do outside and people all across the country are leaving their winter nests.
We’re not the only ones getting out to explore. This time of year, baby wild animals are getting old enough to leave the constant care of their parents. Sometimes our paths cross.
Many public housing developments are in rural areas where deer, skunks, chipmunks, and rabbits can be found. But even urban sites may have baby animals. Most of the year, there are steps you can take to control wildlife invaders—often blocking them out. But this time of year it’s best to let nature take its course. Removing an adult could leave a group of babies stranded. And if they die they will attract even more pests.
So what do you when you find a baby animal?
2. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it injured? If so, look in the phone book and call your local animal control officer.
- If not, is it really abandoned?
Most wild babies are not abandoned. Make sure the baby is out of harm’s way and in an area where it won’t do any harm. If you have to move it, wear protective clothing and put it somewhere very close so the mother doesn’t have to work too hard to find it. Then leave it alone! Some parents leave their babies all day. An animal’s best chance for survival is with its parents, so give mom a chance to come back.
Bird babies are common—I’ve found three on the ground in the past week! If the fledgling has feathers and isn’t pink, it likely came out of the nest on its own and can be left where it is. The fall from the nest occasionally injures a bird but generally the babies are fine. If it’s pink and hasn’t opened its eyes yet, then something knocked it out of the nest. (Wearing gloves) you can put it back in the nest. The parents will accept it back.
For more information, see http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/wild_neighbors/ and http://www.lensc.org/documents/BabyWildlife.pdf
And now for the June newsletter article...
Found a baby animal?
Look, but don’t touch.
This time of year, baby animals are learning to explore the world. If you or your kids find a baby animal, look and see if it is injured.
If it is, call the animal control officer: XXX-XXXX.
If you don’t know, just keep an eye on it for a day. Most wild babies are not abandoned. Make sure the baby is out of harm’s way and in an area where it won’t do any harm. If you have to move it, wear protective clothing and try to put it somewhere very close. Don't make the mother have to work too hard to find it. Then leave it alone! Some parents leave their babies all day.
An animal’s best chance for survival is with its parents, so give the mom a chance to come back.