Summer is here and so is an abundance of wildlife and wild baby animals. We often get people bringing in wildlife to the vet clinic, but this is especially true during spring and warmer weather. While people have the best intentions, 90% of the time it would’ve been best to leave the creature where they had found it.
Wildlife intervention basics:
Wild babies do best in the nest.
Baby birds should always be left alone or gently placed back into their nest if possible. This holds true for most baby animals; rabbits, deer, squirrels, raccoons, possums, ducks, seagulls, etc. survival rates of wild baby animals are much lower when raised in captivity vs.their natural environment.
If an animal is injured or orphaned, then they truly may need your help. For example, young hedgehogs that emerge too early in the spring and are very lethargic due to dehydration will need assistance.
The best thing to do, however, in most cases of a suspected orphaned baby is to leave them where you found them (if in a relatively safe environment) and observe from a distance to see if mom or dad return. If not, and baby seems helpless, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation facility. They will most likely instruct you to keep the animal confined in a dark quiet area with access to water until a wildlife rehabilitator can become involved.
Tortoises and turtles if seen crossing the road may be assisted to the other side. But don’t try to relocate them to your garden or to the side of the road they had their back turned towards; they will only continue to make a move towards their intended destination! (Turtles with obvious severe injuries to their shell or skin should be taken to your vet or wildlife rehab center ASAP)
Other wildlife tips:
Pet cats and dogs can have significant negative affects on wildlife. Cats and dogs can harm wild bird populations, as well as tortoises and small rodents. Control your dog and know where your dog is while outdoors. If your cat is outdoors, put bells on their collar to make it more difficult for them to hunt.
Don’t feed ducks bread! It can lead to malnutrition and calcium deficiency! Leafy greens and duck food are a great alternative.
Leave eggs where you find them or place them back in the nest if visible.
Cut down on you plastic use and consumption. Plastics are beginning to cover our planet and reek havoc on the ecosystem. Bring cloth bags to the supermarket, cary a reusable travel mug for your coffee, bring your own cutlery to work for those takeaway lunches and dinner, reuse takeaway trays and containers.