Sunday, March 22, 2015

Leave "Abandoned" Wildlife Babies Alone!

It's the middle of March, the first few days that we humans have labeled as Spring...   Baby animals are everywhere, and many more will make their appearance during the next eight to ten weeks.  Baby animals are cute.  Baby animals are adorable.  Baby animals can make hard-hearted people get all gooey and mushy and sigh, "Awwwwwww."  All babies are a miracle; furred and feathered ones can cause humans to step over certain boundaries.  If you see what you think is an abandoned baby of any type of ilk (other than human), do not approach it (or them).  Do not touch it (or them).  If you must, take a nice photo from a good distance away.  If you truly feel that the baby has been abandoned, or forgotten, keep the location in your mind - but leave. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, when, or if, you return, the baby will be gone.  If the baby doesn't move away on it's own, or with it's parents assistance, within 18 to 24 hours, then you might intervene - but get that baby to a certified wildlife rehabilitation specialist right away.
   Baby deer, baby rabbits, and baby birds are the most frequently discovered babies that humans end up disturbing, in trying to "save" the babies.  Mothers leave their babies in the wild for many reasons - to feed themselves, to draw attention away from the baby, or just to escape for a minute and use the bathroom away from the almost helpless infant(s).  This is perfectly natural.  In early spring, good forage is difficult to find, and sometimes the mother has to roam a good distance to find nourishment for herself - and she needs more feed, because she is nursing.  Baby deer, or fawns, have white spots for camouflage and they stay absolutely still if they sense danger; baby rabbits snuggle as close to the ground as possible, and try to become (or stay) invisible; baby birds, on the other hand, can be quite noisy, if they have fallen from the nest - they want to draw their parents' attention - and, if successful, might find themselves chivied back up into the nest with their siblings.
   But, please, I beg of you, leave any "abandoned" wildlife babies alone.  Momma will return.
   Keep wildlife wild.

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