Follow These Guidelines Before “Rescuing” Baby Wildlife, WWR Urges
Leave baby wild animals alone!
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation (WRR), which operates in Kendalia and San Antonio, says the last thing it needs to deal with are concerned citizens who unwittingly separate baby birds, fawns, squirrels, oppossums and rabbits from their parents.
The Canyon Lake area is right in the middle of so-called wildlife “Baby Season,” which lasts from the warmer months of spring to late summer.
Already the non-profit, which rescues and cares for over 10,000 native wild animals a year, is seeing an increase in the number of animals.
“While we are always here for every animal in need, we never want any healthy wild baby to be taken from her parents,” WRR said in a press release. “Most of the time, the best thing to do is to leave the baby wild animals right where you found them. As helpless and frail as they appear, they are there for a reason and they probably have parents who are keeping a close watch nearby.”
To decide whether a baby animal really needs to be rescued instead of just left alone, WWR urges residents to follow these steps before intervening:
Step 1 – Don’t panic. Just because you came across a baby wild animal who appears to be alone doesn’t mean they have been abandoned. In fact, their mother is probably nearby seeking food for them. Wild animal parents are devoted to their young and will not abandon them except in extreme circumstances.
Step 2 – Observe the baby from afar so as not to scare off their parents who are probably still in the area and may return. Depending on the species of animal, it could take as long as fourto six hours for the parents to return to their young, so it is extremely important to be patient.
Step 3 – While observing the animal, try to see if the baby is in distress, hurt, or exhibiting any unnatural behavior. For example, if you see a fawn alone who is lying on her side, breathing heavily or has ants around her, then there is something wrong and she needs help. If the fawn is sitting or lying normally, do not bother her. The baby is exactly where her mother placed her.
Step 4 – Watch and wait to determine if the mother returns. For birds and squirrels monitor for two hours. For fawns, monitor for 10 to14 hours. If you still haven’t seen the parents return to their baby, contact WRR’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 830-336-2725 and be sure to leave your name a phone number to ensure a prompt response.
“During this baby season, take a moment to educate yourself and your friends,” WRR says. “Rescuing wild baby and adult animals takes understanding of the situation; it is essential to have the proper knowledge to successfully help them.
“With WRR’s advice, everyone can do their part in keeping wildlife families together. You don’t want to be the next person to separate a baby animal from his or her parents. Together, we can efficiently reduce the number of animal families being separated due to misinformation regarding wildlife.”
To learn more about the appropriate procedures when helping a baby bird, fawn, squirrel, opossum, or rabbit, visit https://wildlife-rescue.org/handouts.