What to do when you cross paths with young wildlife
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -It’s that time of year when you may find baby bunnies or birds in your backyard and while it might seem like a good idea to care for the creatures, wildlife experts say it’s best to leave them alone.
A lot of animals will leave their babies during the day to gather food and keep predators away from the nest. The mothers will come back to care for the babies of the evening.
“People think they’re rescuing them, but they’re actually taking them from a natural setting,” said Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation. They’re actually creating orphans instead of saving orphans.”
Baby robins are also common this time of year. The baby birds will outgrow their nest and hop around on the ground before they learn to fly. If you are concerned that your cat or dog will harm them then you can find a way to protect the bird from your pet.
“You could maybe put it up in a little nest just make sure that the mother bird can still get to it because chances are that mother bird is still watching,” said Skalicky. “Another kind of guideline to remember with young animals, if you have to chase it to rescue it, chances are it doesn’t need to be rescued.”
One common misconception is that if a mother can smell human scent on the baby bird she will reject it. Experts at the conservation department say this is not true.
If you do take in a wild animal you could be violating the Wildlife Code of Missouri.
“There are regulations about taking care of young wildlife,” said Skalicky. “Unless you have those specific requirements that are laid out in the Wildlife Code of Missouri, it’s against the regulations. The bigger thing to remember, these regulations aren’t just words in a book, what they are is based on things that humans can’t do. It’s based on a law of nature, you could say and that law of nature is that animal parents provide and care for their own young, much better than we humans can.”
If you are concerned that the baby animal may be hurt or in need of care you can contact the Conservation Department.
To report a correction or typo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.