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Baby animals don’t always need rescuing

Published: Sunday, May 11, 2014 11:28 p.m. CST • Updated: Sunday, May 11, 2014 11:33 p.m. CST

Baby animals that appear to be orphaned might not need rescuing, local wildlife experts warn.

Across the United States during the spring months, thousands of wild animal babies will be picked up. Some need to be rescued, some do not, Oaken Acres President Kathy Stelford said.

“Most of the wild babies are brought to us by well-intentioned individuals, but many of these babies did not need to be rescued,” Stelford said in a news release.

Bunnies are one of the wild animals rescued most often, but usually do not need human help. Mother rabbits are only at the nest to feed their babies at dawn and at dusk for about five minutes, Stelford said.

Stelford said bunnies should be left alone unless cold, limp babies or injured ones are found.

Fawns are often left alone for several hours at a time while mother deer forage for food. Unless the fawn is obviously injured, it is most likely fine.

Baby birds present a dilemma for potential rescuers. While some believe once a baby bird is touched by a human, it will not be cared for by the parent birds, it is simply not true, Stelford said. However, putting a cold baby bird back in the nest if it is unable to beg for food when the parent arrives, will put it in trouble.

Stelford suggested calling wildlife rehabilitator for advice after finding and animal believed to need help.

If you need assistance with an injured or orphaned wild animal, call Oaken Acres at 815-895-9666. Or visit www.oakenacres.org for more information and advice.

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