Experts say resist the urge to “rescue” young wild animals

Raleigh, North Carolina – As spring approaches, wildlife officials are urging residents to resist the urge to take in, move, or even feed the young animals that might otherwise occur in the wild.

When people venture outside into nature or even their home gardens, some may encounter baby rabbits, veld or fledgling birds mistakenly believed to be abandoned. While instinct may ask you for help, officials say in most cases, one or both parents will likely be a short distance away, looking for food and not return until they leave the area.

“Wild parents can’t hire a babysitter, so most young animals spend a long time on their own before they can fend for themselves,” said Valen Owens, extension biologist with the Wildlife Commission. “When the mother returns, sometimes after several hours, she expects to find her young where she left them.”

Owens says the best thing you can do in most cases is to leave the animal alone, bring it back, or call a Wildlife Rehabilitation for advice.

The following information provided by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Committee can help you assess the situation and determine the best course of action.


Newborn rabbits (groups) spend the first few weeks hiding in plain sight, in shallow holes folded between clumps of thick grass, under bushes, or in the middle of open lawns. Rabbit’s nests can be difficult to spot, and often resemble a small patch of dead grass. Female rabbits actively avoid (or do) their nests, visiting them once or twice a day for a few minutes, to avoid attracting the attention of hungry predators.

“Every spring we hear from people concerned who say they’ve found an abandoned rabbit’s nest, when in fact the groups are fine and quietly waiting for the doe to return,” Owens said. “If they appear to be healthy and unharmed, the best thing you can do is cover up the nest and walk away. The mother won’t return until long after you leave the area.”


Newborn deer also spend nearly all of their time hiding during the first few weeks of their lives. After feeding, the hare gives a signal and her flowers instinctively divide to find a quiet place to lie down and stay. They will usually remain curled up for several hours while the doe ventures away to feed. Antelopes rely on a spotted coat and are odorless, which makes it difficult for predators to find them.

If you find a fawn that is quiet and appears uninjured, leave it and have it checked the next day. If it is still there and is bloating loudly, looks thin or has obvious diarrhea, contact a Licensed fake qualification for advice.

“If a fawn has already been moved from where it was found but only a short time has passed, bring it back immediately,” Owens said. “The hare will usually try to find her lost fawn for 48 hours before giving up. After 48 hours have passed, or the fawn has been given Which Food, call to rehabilitate the antelope as soon as possible.”


Knowing the difference between a chick and a bird can help you make the right decision if you see a baby bird on the ground. Young wolves don’t have their feathers yet and they can’t stay out of their nest for long. Chicks have their feathers and are able to walk, jump or fly short distances; They may seem helpless, but they have already left the nest and are cared for by the parents – usually at a distance.

“If you find a nest on the ground, bring it back to the nest as soon as you can, if you are able to find it,” Owens said. “If the entire nest falls, you can put it back in the tree, or even create a temporary nest. ”

However, chicks should be left alone in most cases. They are busy with the important tasks of learning to fly and surviving on their own. If the young bird is not visibly injured or in any immediate danger, leave it to him. Like young children, young birds need a lot of training to gain muscle and coordination to become a nimble adult. Keeping cats indoors and dogs on a leash is the best way to ensure that these young birds go through their poor learning stage.

obey the law

Leaving small wildlife alone is not only part of being a responsible steward of nature, but it’s also a law.

“It is illegal to take most wild animals out of the wild and bring them into your possession,” Owens said. “The chances of a small wild animal surviving under human care are slim at best. Even those who live long enough to be released will not develop the skills to survive on their own.”

Owens also stresses the importance of never feeding young wild animals, which can lead to irreparable harm, often fatal to the animal.

“When in doubt, contact a professional before doing so anything,” she advises. “Every spring, wildlife rehabilitation professionals receive a lot of young, malnourished, sick, or injured people of good will trying to provide care.”

And one last tip: it’s best to leave the animal where you found it, even if you pick it up or touch it. Wild parents almost never abandon their young, even if they spot a human scent.