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Leave wild babies in the wild

Friday, April 8, 2022 by Tai Moses

Spring has sprung, and humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the season. Spring is baby season for wildlife: birds, deer, skunks and many other species are raising their young, and you may encounter some of these offspring while you’re out and about. Unfortunately, people often assume a wild baby animal by itself is abandoned or orphaned and take them away from their homes. But the best thing to do when encountering a wild animal of any age is to leave it alone unless it is visibly injured or crying in distress. Mother deer leave their babies hidden for hours at a time and the fawns know to stay still and wait until their mothers return. If you find a hidden fawn, do not touch it. Wildlife rescue and rehab organizations report that most of the fawns that are brought to them by well-meaning citizens are actually healthy animals who were kidnapped from their homes. Once separated, it can be impossible to reunite a fawn with its mother. The same goes for birds: baby birds leaving the nest may wind up on the ground for a few days, but that’s a natural part of the fledging process. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, “If the bird’s eyes are open, it has feathers and is hopping around, mom and dad are likely nearby. Grounded fledglings will usually be up and flying within a few days.” TPW continues, “Leave all young animals alone unless it is obviously injured. To be sure, spend time observing the wild animal from a distance to make that determination. Staying too close may deter the mother from returning. Interfering too soon may do more harm than good.” Here’s what to do if you see a fawn in your yard or find a baby bird on the ground.

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