As spring comes around, there’s a chance of finding baby animals in your backyard or on a walk. Think twice before trying to step in and help. Human intervention often hinders the animal’s best chance at survival.
Signs that an animal needs help include:
-Signs of flies, ants, worms, fly eggs, or maggots, which look like grains of rice
-Was caught by a cat or dog
-Signs of trauma, such as an open wound, broken leg, bleeding, or swelling
-Very cold, thin, or weak
-On the ground unable to move
-If the parents are known to be dead, or are separated and cannot be reunited (e.g.- parent was trapped and relocated)
Before intervening, please learn ways to determine whether an animal needs help. In most cases, a young animal’s best chance for survival is to receive natural care from its parents and remain in the wild. Survival rates of rehabilitated animals are often low and many do not survive their first year upon release back into the wild. Baby animals left alone are not necessarily orphaned or abandoned and many species of wildlife hide their young for safety and leave them alone for extended periods of time. Humans think we are helping the poor orphan, but we often are actually kidnapping them!
Avoid handling any wild animal, and do not attempt to offer food or water unless instructed to do so by a professional. This can cause more harm than good.
If you come across a baby animal and feel the need to intervene, please contact the DFW Wildlife Coalition for advice first: 972-234-9543